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Scottish Artists at Home

By 1850 it was accepted that there was a ‘Scottish School’ of art. This was nurtured in Edinburgh by the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts in Scotland. In London, it flourished following Sir David Wilkie’s personal success and his promotion of the interests of young Scottish painters.

Queen Victoria Riding Out by Sir Francis Grant

Queen Victoria Riding Out by Sir Francis Grant ©

Much of the art emanating from this Scottish school of artists was inseparable from the landscape, literature or folklore of the nation. Artists from Sir William Allan to John Pettie committed to canvas the romantic episodes from Scottish history that featured in Sir Walter Scott’s novels, and in Robert Burns’s poetry, contributing as they did so to the growth of a Scottish identity.

Some Scottish artists, like Sir Joseph Noël Paton from Dunfermline, rarely left Scotland, but achieved high standing in both Edinburgh and London. Others, like Sir Francis Grant, pursued successful careers from south of the border. In all cases, however, their distinctly Scottish vision was characterised by naturalness, detailed observation and truth to life.

Sir William Allan (1782-1850)

The Orphan

Sir Francis Grant (1803-78)

Prince Albert (1819-61)

Sir Francis Grant (1803-78)

Queen Victoria (1819-1901) riding out

Sir Joseph Noël Paton (1821-1901)

Home (The Return from the Crimea)

Sir David Wilkie (1785-1841)

Prince Charles of Leiningen (1804-1856)

Sir David Wilkie (1785-1841)

The First Council of Queen Victoria

Sir David Wilkie (1785-1841)

Queen Victoria (1819-1901)