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Herdman, Robert Inerarity

Robert Inverarity Herdman (1829 - 1888) was born in Rattray near Blairgowrie in  Perthshire, the fourth and youngest son of a parish minister. 


After the early death of his father, the family moved to St Andrews where he studied divinity at Madras College, then the University of St. Andrews. Apromising Greek scholar, he retained a love of the classics throughout his life. 


He left university prematurely and moved  to Edinburgh in 1847 to train under Robert Scott Lauder as an artist. He was a friend of Professor John Stuart Blackie, who instilled in him a love of the Celtic Revival reflected in his later works.


Some of Herdman’s early paintings illustrated biblical subjects., but after a visit to the continent in 1855, his main source of inspiration became Scottish History, and song. He also executed a number of portraits and single figures, often Scottish peasant girls.


Herdman is known to have spent many summers on Arran, working in watercolour,  with many holiday sketches of wildflowers, boulders and seashores.


He received commissions from most Scottish city councils, and his work is found in many galleries including the Royal Scottish Academy and National Portrait Gallery, London. He was elected an Associate of the RSA in 1861 and became a Fellow in 1863. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and British Institution in London 1861–1887. He exhibited in Philadelphia in 1876 and Paris in 1878.


He was married to Emma Abbott. Their son William Abbott Herdman FRSE was an eminent oceanographer who served on the Challenger Expedition.


His son Robert Duddingston Herdman (1863–1922) was also an artist. He lived mainly in Edinburgh. In the 1860s he lived at 32 Danube street. In the 1880s he is listed as living at 12 Bruntsfield Crescent.


He died in Edinburgh and is buried there in the Grange Cemetery on the outer side of the northern slope to the central vaults.


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You can read the wikipedia entry for Robert Herdman here