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Art in Scotland
Andrew Somerville

Born, 1808; died, January 1834.

Brief as was the life of William Simson, Somerville's span of life was even shorter—only six-and-twenty years. The son of a wire-worker in Edinburgh, he was educated at the High School there, soon after leaving which he became a pupil, and subsequently an assistant-teacher, under Simson, till the latter removed to London. His first exhibits at the Scottish Academy exhibition in 1830, drew some attention to his work, and three years later he was elected a Member. Among the subjects which he painted were the Bride of Yarrow; Bonny Kilmeny, from Hogg's exquisite poem; and the Flowers of the Forest, a subject illustrative of the fatal battle of Flodden Field. The latter was in the possession of the late Adam Sim, the cultured antiquary, of Coulter Mains, in Lanarkshire. He also painted a few subjects, very successfully, of a humorous kind, such as Donnybrook Fair.

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