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Cameron, David Young

Born in Glasgow and educated at Glasgow Academy, David Young Cameron studied at Glasgow School of Art, later going on to complete his studies at Edinburgh School of Art. He quickly rose to international prominence with his skills as an etcher, largely depicting architectural and landscape scenes in Scotland, Holland and Italy. 

Arran appeared prominently in his early work most notably his ‘Clyde set’, with Ben Nuiss, Cir Mhor and Goatfell as well as sites in the south of the island such as Drumadoon point all depicted in his recognisably stark and moody approach which explored light and contrast using the drypoint technique. These prints, and one in particular simply titled ‘Arran’ of 1889 showing the island from the Ayrshire coast would be heavily reproduced.

From 1908 onwards his work, inspired by The Glasgow Boys among others, moved largely into oil painting, with Arran again features heavily in his output, with ‘Cir Mhor’ in 1912, and his ‘Hill of the Winds’ in 1913 both showcasing his austere style. Nowhere is this perhaps more prominent than in his celebrated work ‘The Hills of Arran’ , also of 1913, which depicts the craggy mountain landscape as a brooding and somewhat menacing silhouette.

In 1917-18 he would become an official war artist for Canada, depicting scenes in France. Cameron’s later work made much more use of a lighter palette, no doubt influenced by his post-war journeys to Italy and France, and in 1920 he was elected as a Royal Academician. Cameron was the King's Painter and Limner in Scotland and lived for many years at Kippen in Stirlingshire.

He would die in Perth in 1945, leaving behind a large body of atmospheric work of the Scottish Highlands and Islands, as well as a reputation as one of the finest Scottish etchers in the 20th century.


Rinder 1912 / D.Y. Cameron: An illustrated catalogue of his etched work with introductory essay and descriptive notes on each plate

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