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Art in Scotland
William Crawford

Born ; died, 2d August 1869.

William Crawford is one of the members of the Scottish Academy who is unrepresented in the National Gallery in Edinburgh. He was a native of Ayr, where his father enjoyed a local reputation as a poet, and having shown some evidence of a talent for art in his early youth, was placed at the Trustees' Academy, under Sir William Allan, where he made such rapid progress as to obtain a travelling bursary for two years, for a copy from one of Etty's pictures. This time he spent at Rome, where he remained unaffected by the great works which he saw and studied there, except in regard to advancing and improving himself in the knowledge and technique of his art, after which he returned to Edinburgh to pursue the practice which he had already commenced of portrait and genre painting. Up till the year 1858, he conducted drawing-classes in the Trustees' Academy, and was elected an Associate of the Academy in 1860.

At this time he was patronised by Lord Meadowbank, after which he painted some of his best works, which were chiefly of a domestic type. His largest, and probably best picture, was the Return from Maying; along with which may be mentioned a Highland Gamekeeper's Daughter, Waiting for the Ferry, the Wishing-pool, and Too Late (exhibited in the year of his death). In his manner of work he resembled Geddes, and it is characterised by a pleasing tone of colour. He did some excellent crayon portraits, and contributed occasional criticisms on art to the Edinburgh newspapers. He died in the prime of life, leaving a widow and one child.

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