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Famous Lauder Artists
by Gregory Lauder-Frost, F.S.A.(Scot).


Robert Scott Lauder was born at Silvermills House, Edinburgh, on 25th June 1803, the third son of John Lauder of Silvermills (d:28/7/1838) the tannery proprietor there and a Burgess of Edinburgh, and his wife Helen Tait (d.1850). Robert is described in some earlier reference books as a subject and portrait painter but his death certificate states ‘historical painter.’ Robert attended the famous Edinburgh Academy, and subsequently went to London. He returned to Edinburgh about 1826 and was elected one of the original members of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1830.

On 9th September 1833 at St.Cuthberts’ in Edinburgh he married Isabella Ramsay Thomson and they then went abroad, where Robert studied for some years in Rome, Florence, Bologna, Venice and Munich. He returned to London in 1838 where he lived for several years, evidenced by the baptisms of three children – Isabella, John and Robert, - at St.Thomas’s Church, Southwark, between 1840 and 1844.

Whilst in London he exhibited at the Royal Academy and competed in the Westminster Hall competition of 1847, sending his Christ walking on the Sea, which was subsequently purchased by Lady Burdett-Coutts. He later removed back to Edinburgh but suffered a paralytic stroke and did not practice after 1861. He died there from a bout of bronchitis on 21st April 1869. The following are said to be amongst his best works:

Scene from The Bride of Lammermoor. 1839
The Trial of Effie Deans. 1840
Meg Merrilies. 1842
Hannah presenting Samuel to Eli. 1845
Mother and Child. 1848
Sentinels.
Christ Teacheth Humility. 1847
John Gibson Lockhart. (Portrait)
Rev. John Thomson of Duddingstone. (Portrait)
William Simson, R.S.A. (Portrait)

Other pictures of note are:
Italian Goatherds ‘entertaining a brother of the Santissima Trinita. 1843
Ruth ‘so she gleaned in the field until even’. 1845
The Gow Chrom Reluctantly Conducting the Glee Maiden to a Place of Safety. 1846
Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery.

Other portraits of note are:
Sir Archibald Alison.
Thomas Duncan.
John Henning
Elizabeth Lauder, Mrs.William Paterson, with her daughter Janet.`
Henry Lauder. (The artist’s brother) c1825-1827.
Sir Thomas Dick Lauder.
Robert Scott Lauder (Self)
John Gibson Lockhart, with Charlotte Scott.
David Roberts. 1840
David Scott.
Sir John Steell.
Thomas Thomson.

James Eckford Lauder, a younger brother of Robert Scott Lauder, (above) was also born at Silvermills House, Edinburgh, on 15th August 1811. He too is often described as a subject painter but as with his brother his death certificate described him as a ‘historical painter’. Under the guidance and encouragement of his brother Robert an early love of art was rapidly developed. James too attended Edinburgh Academy from 1824 to 1828. In 1834 he joined Robert in Italy, and remained there nearly four years. Upon his return to Edinburgh he became an annual contributor to the exhibition of the Royal Scottish Acadamy, and exhibited occasionally at the Royal Acadamy in London, where his works attracted much attention. In 1839 he was elected an associate of the Royal Scottish Academy, and in 1846 he became an academician. In 1847 he sent to the competition in Westminster Hall The Parable of Forgiveness for which he was awarded a premium of two hundred pounds. One of his most successful works, The Wise and Foolish Virgins, was engraved by Lumb Stocks for the Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts in Scotland. James Eckford Lauder never married and died from ‘exhaustion’, at 16 Salisbury Street, Edinburgh, on 27th March 1869. The following are said to be amongst his principal pictures:

Hagar.
The Unjust Servant.
The Wise and Foolish Virgins.
Scene from The Two Gentlemen of Verona. 1841
Cherries. 1842
Hop-Scotch. 1843
Night and Day. 1845.
Bailie Duncan McWheeble at Breakfast. 1854
James Watt and the Steam Engine. 1855
James Eckford Lauder. (Self-portrait)
Sir Walter Scott.

William Lauder, was an early painter of interest about whom little is now known. He was baptised on 8th January, 1680, at Haddington, East Lothian, to James Lauder, the Provost there, and his wife Isobel Pringle. On 1st June 1698 he was indentured as an apprentice to Thomas Warrender, painter, at Edinburgh.

Complied and edited by G.M.S.Lauder-Frost, F.S.A.,(Scot).

References include:
Bryan’s Dictionary of Painters and Engravers (5 volumes) edited by George C.Williamson (London 1927); Edinburgh Academy Register [NLS]; IGI Indices; Testaments of John Lauder of Silvermills & Helen Tait [SRO]; Death Certificate’s of both Robert & James Lauder, [GRO Edinburgh]; Edinburgh Register of Apprentices 1583-1666; Old Parish Register for Haddington [GRO Edinburgh]. "The Concise Catalogue of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery" compiled by Helen Smailes. (Edinburgh 1990).