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Thomson, Rev John

Rev. John THOMSON (1778-1840) was born at Dailly near Girvan, Ayrshire, the Minister of Dailly from 1800 (successor to his father), and of Duddingston near Edinburgh from 1805 until his death in 1840. He was a friend of Sir Walter Scott, J.M. Turner, (Sir) Henry Raeburn, and other distinguished artists and earned the title of ‘The Scottish Claude Lorraine’ after the French master, as he was strongly influenced by his work. He showed ability in drawing and painting from a young age and inspired by the Ayrshire countryside he developed a love of landscape painting.

Thomson had a studio at the foot of the manse garden on the shore of Duddingston Loch which was replaced by a tower structure designed by William Playfair for Duddingston Curling Society. Thomson used the upper floor, which later became known as Thompson’s tower, as his studio. He soon earned a considerable income from his paintings.

Thomson loved to paint outdoors, observing directly from nature and was influenced by the French masters including Claude Lorrain, Poussin as well as  Raeburn and Turner. He soon established a reputation for being a fine landscape painter. He also went on to collaborate with Turner in producing engravings to illustrate Walter Scott's Provincial Antiquities and Picturesque Scenery of Scotland, published in 1826.

Recognising his talent, his congregation put his name forward to become a member of the Association of artists in Edinburgh. He also received honorary memberships of the Royal Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts in Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy.

In 1830 he exhibited A View in Arran at the Institute for the Encouragement of Fine Arts in Scotland. The following year he produced a picture showing Turnberry Castle with Arran in the background, this work was commissioned by Walter Scott, the 5th Duke of Buccleugh.  He also exhibited the painting Glen Sannox at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1833 and in 1839 the painting entitled  Arran.


You can read the Wikipedia entry for John Robertson Reid here

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