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Artists of the Nineteenth century and their works
Containing two thousand and fifty biographical sketches by Clara (Erskine) Clement and Laurence Hutton in two volumes


A great resource and there volues can be found on the Internet Archive...

Volume 1  |  Volume 2

The first effort towards the establishment of the Royal Scottish Academy was an exhibition of paintings in 1808 held in Edinburgh. It was followed by occasional but irregular exhibitions of the works of Scottish artists in other years, until, in 1826, the Scottish Academy of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture was established, which afterwards became the Royal Scottish Academy and received the Royal charter in 1838. Its first President was George Watson, who died in 1837. D. 0. Hill, an early Secretary, held that position for upwards of forty years, resigning by reason of ill-health in 1869. Of the thirteen original members, not one now survives, Kenneth MacLeay, the last, having died in 1878.

The general plan of the institution is based upon and is similar to that of the Royal Academy of London. The meetings and exhibitions were held in the Royal Institution, Edinburgh, until the erection of its present home in the National Gallery of Scotland, the foundation-stone of which was laid by the Prince Consort in 1850.

While the larger portion of the works sent to the annual exhibitions of this Academy are the productions of native and resident Scottish artists, many of the choicest works of modern painters and sculptors of Great Britain and of other countries are also received.

Some biographies...

Allan, Sir Wm., R. A. (Brit.) Born in Edinburgh (1782-1850). Pupil of the Trustees Academy in Edinburgh and of the Royal Academy in London. Painted portraits for some time in St. Petersburg, and, returning to Scotland, settled in Edinburgh in 1814. He was elected member of the Royal Academy in 1835, President of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1838, succeeded Wilkie as “Limner to the Queen for Scotland” in 1841, and was knighted in 1842. He was master of the Trustees Academy for many years before his death, and numbered among his pupils some of the most prominent of the Scottish artists of the present day. Among his works are, “Sir Walter Scott in his Study at Abbotsford” (engraved by Burnet); “Exiles conveyed to Siberia,” belonging to the Emperor of Russia; “The Circassian Captives,” in the collection of the Earl of Wemyss; “Battle of Waterloo,” bought by the Duke of Wellington; “John Knox admonishing Mary Queen of Scots,” etc. His “Arabs dividing their Spoil” is in the National Gallery, London. The “Stirrup Cup,” “Black Dwarf,” and “Battle of Bannockburn” (the work upon which he was engaged at the time of his death) are at the National Gallery, Edinburgh.

Archer, James. (Brit,) Bom, 1824. Educated at the Trustees Academy, Edinburgh, devoting himself to drawing in chalk during the first ten years of his professional life. In 1849 he sent to the Royal Scottish Academy “The Last Supper," his first exhibited picture in oil. He was elected Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1853, Academician in 1858. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, London, for the first time in 1854, crayon portraits; in 1856, “Musing" and “Amused"; in 1857, "In Time of War"; in 1858, “A Hidden Sorrow"; in 1859, “Fair Rosamond and Queen Eleanor"; in 1861, “Playing at Queen." He removed to London from Edinburgh in 1862, and sent to the Royal Academy, in 1864, “How the Little Lady stood to Velasquez"; in 1865, “The Puritan Suitor"; in 1867, “The Times of Charles I."; in 1869, “Against Cromwell”; in 1870, “Sir Patrick Spens"; in 1872, “Henry Irving as Mathias in 'The Bells’"; in 1873, “Irving as Charles I."; in 1874, “The Fair Beauty and the Dark"; in 1875, “Springtide”; in 1876, “Little Bo-Peep"; in 1878, “The Trysting Tree"; besides many portraits.

To the International Exhibition of 1862, in London, Archer sent “Summer Time, — Gloucester"; to Paris, in 1867, “Buying an Indiligence”; to Philadelphia, in 1876, “The Three Sisters”; and to Paris, in 1878, "Rose” and “Little Miss Primrose.”

“John Stuart Blackie [by James Archer] is an entirely well-meant, and, I should conjecture, successful portrait of a man much deserving portraiture. The background has true meaning, and is satisfactorily complete; very notable in that character among portrait backgrounds of the year. The whole is right and good.”—John Ruskin’s Note Of tkc Academy, 1875.

"Rose" by J. Archer (R. A. 18771 remarkably sweet girl, full-faced, fair-complexioned, standing in a light dress and quilted satin petticoat, is one of the most fascinating pictures in the room.” — Art Journal, July, 1877.

Barclay, J. M (Brit.) Born in Perth, Scotland. Member of the Royal Scottish Academy. Barclay resides in Edinburgh, and devotes himself to portrait-painting, his subjects being generally private individuals. He has, however, made portraits of the Marquis of Lorne, the Duke of Athol, and some other prominent personages.


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