Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Art in Scotland
Its Origin and Progress by Robert Brydall (1889)


SOME years ago, when collecting notes for a short series of Lectures on the History of Scottish Art, I was very forcibly impressed by the fact that a subject of so great importance had not hitherto been treated in a complete and systematic manner. The origin and development of art in Scotland, the history of its schools, the memoirs of its artists, and even the names of its most representative examples, have not before been recorded in one work; and the student who wished to obtain a comprehensive view of the subject has had to painfully glean his information from a vast number of books, many of them only very remotely connected with art. Impressed by my own experiences of the obvious want of a succinct and complete History of Art in Scotland, and acting on the advice of gentlemen whose opinions I hold in respect, I have undertaken the book now laid before the public.

The work has been carried on con amore, in the very brief leisure of an artist daily engaged in teaching his profession, and without claim to literary experience. The care with which I have collected information, and the extent and variety of the illustrative facts which I have been able to bring together, will, I hope, atone for any defects in point of form.

Originally I had intended to treat of the subject of painting only; but as there are other branches of Art closely allied to, and which frequently overlap, the work of the painter, it would have been impossible to trace the progress of taste in Scotland without occasionally referring to these, but I have not attempted to treat them in an exhaustive manner.

In the biographical notices of recent artists, the difficulty had to be encountered of making a representative selection and avoiding a mere dictionary of artists; some whose names are now almost forgotten have been included on account of the influence which they exercised in their time, while others better known to their contemporaries have been omitted. This reference is due also to the talents of such artists as Messrs Manson, Anderson, and P. W. Nicholson, whose brief lives prevented the full development of their talent.

Care has been taken to quote the sources of information and the acknowledgment generally of extracts. In the latter part of the subject, the 'Art Journal,' among other contemporary works, has been freely drawn upon.

In placing the History of Scottish Art before the public, my object has been to fill a blank in our national literature, and to place on record the successive steps by which Art in Scotland has attained its present high pre-eminence. It is somewhat of a reproach that such a work has not been undertaken before, and by a higher authority than I can claim to be.



Chapter I.
Celtic art - Standing-stones - Early symbols - Irish illuminations — Sculptured crosses—Sepulchral stones—Early figure-sculpture - Early churches—Celtic metal-work—Decline of Celtic art.

Chapter II.
Progress of art from the thirteenth century—Early charter at Floors Castle—Psalters and missals—William the Lion—Architecture - Sculptured figures and tombs—Queen Margaret—Painters and art workmen—David II.—Anecdote of the Princess Ægidia—Houston pictures—Fifteenth-century tombs and effigies—James I—Armorials—Linlithgow sculptures, &c.—James II.—Chapel-Royal at Stirling—Fifteenth-century paintings—Trinity Church and Holyrood altar-piece—Pictures in Fowlis Easter Church.

Chapter III.
Supposed Scottish portrait of Joan of Arc—James IV. and tomb of his father—Mynour the painter—Ledger of Andrew Halyburton—Expedition of James V. to France—Sixteenth-century wood-carving - Native painters in time of James V.—Portraits—Paintings in interiors—Banner found at Pinkie field—Bishop Reid and Andrew Bairhum.

Chapter IV.
Late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries—Queen Mary—Her portraits—John Acheson—James VI.—His reception in Edinburgh— Baptism of Prince of Wales in 1594—Late sixteenth-century portraits—Criminal art—Arnold Bronkhorst—Esther Inglis—Holyrood decorations for James VI.

Chapter V.
George Jamesone—Destruction of art-work in the seventeenth century -Painted screen in Elgin Cathedral -Lord Traquair's popish trinkets —Holyrood portraits by De Witt—Early topographers— Alexander Alesse—Gordon of Straloch —Seventeenth -century architects-William Schaw - David Anderson-The Mylnes - Sir William Bruce—William Wallace—William Aytoun.

Chapter VI.
Late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries—John Scougal—Corrudes—Hude—Paton—Wait—Sir John Medina—John Medina— Thomas Murray—William Ferguson—J. Michael Wright—Office of King's Limner—John Alexander—William Aikman—John Smibert —The Norries—Milton House decorations—Academy of St Luke in Edinburgh—Richard Cooper the engraver.

Chapter VII.
Late eighteenth century—Allan Ramsay—The Academy of the brothers Foulis of Glasgow—Notice of its pupils—David Allan—James and William Tassie.

Chapter VIII.
Edinburgh Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Sciences, and Manufactures—The Board of Trustees' Academy in Edinburgh.

Chapter IX.
Late eighteenth century painters-Gavin Hamilton—Jacob More Cunningham—Alexander and John Runciman—John Donaldson— David Martin—George Willison—Archibald Skirving—John Brown —William Robinson—Sir George Chalmers—Mrs Blackwell.

Chapter X.
Architecture and sculpture in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries—Colin Campbell —William Adam—James Gibbs—The Adams—James Craig—William Stark, &c.—John Henning— Samuel Josephs—William Mossman—John Greenshields—James Thom—Robert Forrest—Thomas Campbell—Lawrence Macdonald, &c.

Chapter XI.
Early Scottish engravers—Clarke—Elder—Richard Cooper—Sir Robert Strange—Joshua Campbell—Andrew Bell—Francis Legat—Alexander Robertson—Robert Scott—W. Douglas—James Stewart— Mitchell—Kay—Beugo-----John Burnet—Lizars—Geikie---Crombie —Horsburgh—Somerville---Howison, &c.—William Berry.

Chapter XII.
Formation of the Modern School of Painting—Portrait-painters of the early nineteenth century—John Bogle—Sir Henry Raeburn - George Watson—Sir John Watson Gordon—Andrew Geddes— William Nicholson—James Tannock—John Graham Gilbert— Colvin Smith—John and Patrick Syme—William Smellie Watson —T. Fraser—Saxon--J. S. Harvie—Nairne—Yellowlees—George Sanders—William Douglas—W. J. Thomson—Alexander Robertson —Antony Stewart—Margaret Gillies.

Chapter XIII.
Painters of history and genre of the early nineteenth century—John Graham—Sir David Wilkie—Alexander Fraser—Alexander Carse —James Burnet—William Kidd—Sir William Allan—Alexander Chisholm—John Steven.

Chapter XIV.
Landscape-painting in the early nineteenth century—The Nasmyths —G. Walker—Thomson of Duddingston— H. W. Williams— J. F. Williams —Andrew Wilson—John Wilson—The Schetkys-Ewbank—P. Gibson - Gibb - Gilfillan - Donaldson - Barker - David Roberts.

Chapter XV.
Society of Incorporated Artists, 1808—Early exhibitions in Edinburgh —Royal Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts—Royal Scottish Academy.

Chapter XVI.
The National Gallery of Scotland—The National Portrait Gallery— Private collections of works by the old masters.

Chapter XVII.
Painting in Glasgow-Glasgow Corporation Collection- Hunterian Museum Collection—Smith Institute at Stirling—Erskine Collection at Culross—Local exhibitions—Art Unions.

Biographical and Criticall Notices of the leading deceased Scottish Painters, 1800-1889.

List of Members of the Royal Scottish Academy (till 1888)

1907 Edition of the Royal Scottish Academy
With Forty Reproductions in colours of the work of prominent members past and present

  1. Tantallon Castle. By E. T. Crawford.
  2. Breaking the Bread. By R. Scott Lauder.
  3. When Angry Tempests Gather. By Horatio MacCulloch.
  4. Luther at Erfurt. By Sir Noel Paton.
  5. Dunnottar Castle. By Sir William Fettes Douglas.
  6. The 'Onconveniency' of Single Life. By Erskine Nicol.
  7. Naworth Castle in a Storm. By Sam Bough.
  8. Benvenue. By Alexander Fraser.
  9. Crab Catchers—a June Day. By William M'Taggart.
  10. On the Garry—Moonlight. By J. C. Wintour.
  11. A Lonely Life. By Hugh Cameron.
  12. Rain in Skye. By George Paul Chalmers.
  13. J. H. Balfour Browne, Esq., K.C. By Sir George Reid.
  14. The Wayside Pool. By W. D. McKay.
  15. Drowsy Cronies, By Robert Alexander.
  16. Old Mill, Dordrecht. By J. Campbell Noble.
  17. Summer Evening—Muthill. By J. Lawton Wingate.
  18. The Farmer's Cottage. By David Murray.
  19. September. By David Farquharson.
  20. A Moorish Procession. By Arthur Melville.
  21. Oakwood Tower, Selkirkshire. By Tom Scott.
  22. Grandfather's Stocking. By T. Austen Brown.
  23. Miss Cecile Walton. By E. A. Walton.
  24. Auxerre, France. By A. D. Reid.
  25. Frost in the Air. By A. K. Brown.
  26. Lockett Croal Thomson. By John Lavery.
  27. On the Tyne. By Robert Noble.
  28. The Wane of Sunset. By J. Coutts Michie.
  29. Nell. By Alexander Roche.
  30. Loch Fuilas. Bv R. B. Nisbet
  31. Edinburgh from Craigleith. By James Paterson
  32. Bairnies Cuddle Doon. By R. Gemmell Hutchison
  33. Bruin goes Walking. By W. Walls
  34. Girl with a Hawk. By Robert Burns
  35. Bramble Gatherers. By James Cadenhead
  36. La Senorita. By Charles H. Mackie
  37. The Lobster. By Edwin Alexander
  38. The Citadel. By D. Y. Cameron
  39. The Blind Girl. By Robert Brough
  40. Galloway. By J. Campbell Mitchell
  41. The Scotish Gallery or Portraits of Eminent Persons of Scotland
    By John Pinkerton (1799) (pdf)

Return to our Online Books page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus