Alexander Nasmyth

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Alexander Nasmyth bi Andrew Geddes

Alexander Nasmyth (9 September 1758 – 10 Aprile 1840) wis a Scots portrait an laundscape penter, a pupil o Allan Ramsay.

Biography[eedit | eedit soorce]

Nasmyth wis born in Edinburgh on 9 September 1758.[1] He studied at the Ryal Hie Schuil an the Trustees’ Academy an wis apprenticed tae a coachbigger. Aged saxteen, he wis taen tae Lunnon bi portrait penter Allan Ramsay whaur he wirked on subordinate pairts o Ramsay's warks. Nasmyth returnt tae Edinburgh in 1778, whaur he haed thrift as a portrait penter. He wis gien a loan bi Patrick Miller o Dalswinton an depairtit Scotland in 1782 for Italy, whaur he stayed twa year forderin his studies. In Italy he gied maist o his attention tae laundscape pentin, an is pit doun as haein copied a wark bi Claude Lorrain.[2]

Nasmyth returnt tae Scotland whaur for the neist few year he continued his career as a portraitist. He pentit some warks in the style o Ramsay, but maist wis conversation pieces wi ootdoor settins.[1][3] His portrait o Robert Burns, that becam a close friend,[3] is noo in the Scottish National Gallery. Eventually, Nasmyth's strang Leeberal thochts offendit mony o his aristocratic patrons in a politically chairged Edinburgh, leadin to a faw in commissions for portraits,[1] an in 1792 he gied up the genre, turnin insteid tae laundscape pentin. He stairtit pentin scenery for theatres anaa, an activity he kept up wi for the neist thirty year, an in 1796 pentit a panorama.[4]

View of the City of Edinburgh, Yale Center for British Art

His laundscapes ar a o actual places, an airchitecture is for usual an important element. Some warks wis pented tae illustrate the effecks that new biggins wid hae on an area, sic as Inverary from the Sea, pented for the Duke o Argyll tae shaw the settin o a proponed lichthoose.[5]

Nasmyth haed a muckle interest in ingineerin, an proponed mony ideas that wis later widely uised, awtho he niver patentit ony o them.[5] In October 1788, whan Patrick Miller sailed the warld's first successfu steamship, designed by William Symington, on Dalswinton Loch, Nasmyth wis ane o the crew.[3]

He wis employed bi memmers o the Scots nobility in the impruvement an beautification o their estates. He designed the circular temple coverin St Bernard's Well bi the Watter o Leith (1789), an brigs at Almondell, West Lothian, an Tongland, Kirkcudbrightshire.[6] In 1815 he wis ane o thae invitit tae pit forrit proposals for the expansion o Edinburgh New Toun.[7]

Nasmyth set up a drawin schuil[4] an "instilled a whole generation with the importance of drawing as a tool of empirical investigation";[8] his pupils includit David Wilkie, David Roberts, Clarkson Stanfield an John Thomson o Duddingston;[5] an it wis prolly frae him that John James Ruskin (faither o John Ruskin) lairned tae pent as a schuil loon in Edinburgh in the later 1790s.[8] Ainither successfu pupil wis the penter, dominie, airt dealer an connoisseur Andrew Wilson, that haed his first airt trainin unner Nasmyth. Nasmyth wis forby the tutor to the polymath Mary Somerville an introduced her tae the leadin intellectuals in Edinburgh.[9]

Nasmyth deit at hame, 47 York Place[10] (aboot conter tae the hoose o Sir Henry Raeburn) in Edinburgh. He wis buried in St Cuthbert's Churchyard at the wast end o Princes Street.

Faimily[eedit | eedit soorce]

He mairrit Barbara Foulis, the dochter o Sir James Foulis, 5th Baronet o Colinton, on 3 Januar 1786.[11][12]

Nasmyth's auldest sax dochters aa becam notable airtists. His dochters wis Jane, Barbara, Margaret, Elizabeth, Anne an Charlotte.[13] His eldest son, Patrick Nasmyth, studied unner his faither, then went to Lunnon an got attention as a laundscapist.[1] Anither son, James Nasmyth, inventit the steam hammer.[1] He haed three ither bairns, Alexander, George an Mary.[12]

Gallery[eedit | eedit soorce]

Notes[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. a b c d e  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Nasmyth, Alexander" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 19 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 248–249. Cite has empty unkent parameters: |HIDE_PARAMETER15=, |HIDE_PARAMETER13=, |HIDE_PARAMETER14c=, |HIDE_PARAMETER14=, |HIDE_PARAMETER9=, |HIDE_PARAMETER3=, |HIDE_PARAMETER1=, |HIDE_PARAMETER4=, |HIDE_PARAMETER2=, |HIDE_PARAMETER8=, |HIDE_PARAMETER20=, |HIDE_PARAMETER5=, |HIDE_PARAMETER7=, |HIDE_PARAMETER10=, |separator=, |HIDE_PARAMETER14b=, |HIDE_PARAMETER6=, |HIDE_PARAMETER11=, and |HIDE_PARAMETER12= (help)
  2. Macmillan 1986, p.142. Macmillan suggests that his interest in Classical laundscape pentin micht hae been due tae the ensaumple o the Scots airtist Jacob More, then resident in Rome.
  3. a b c Macmillan 1986, p.142
  4. a b Macmillan 1986, p.144
  5. a b c Macmillan 1986, p.145
  6. Historic Environment Scotland. "St Bernard's Well, off St Bernard's Bridge, including Stair, Walls, Railings and Plaque  (Category A) (LB27905)". Retrieved 18 Mairch 2019.
  7. Macmillan 1986, p.142.
  8. a b Warrell, Ian (2000). Hewison, Robert; et al. (eds.). Ruskin, Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites. Tate Gallery Publishing. p. 13.
  9. Chapman, Allan (2014). Mary Somerville and the World of Science. Springer. p. 17. ISBN 978-3-319-09399-4.
  10. "(178) - Scottish Post Office Directories > Towns > Edinburgh > 1805-1834 – Post Office annual directory > 1832-1833 – Scottish Directories - National Library of Scotland". Retrieved 7 Mey 2016.
  11. Grant's Old and New Edinburgh vol.III
  12. a b Nasmyth, James (1885). James Nasmyth, Engineer: An Autobiography. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street. p. 32. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  13. Cooksey, J. C. B. "Nasmyth family (per. 1788–1884)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/75558. Cite has empty unkent parameters: |HIDE_PARAMETER15=, |HIDE_PARAMETER13=, |HIDE_PARAMETER21=, |HIDE_PARAMETER30=, |HIDE_PARAMETER14=, |HIDE_PARAMETER17=, |HIDE_PARAMETER32=, |HIDE_PARAMETER16=, |HIDE_PARAMETER25=, |HIDE_PARAMETER24=, |HIDE_PARAMETER9=, |HIDE_PARAMETER3=, |HIDE_PARAMETER4=, |HIDE_PARAMETER2=, |HIDE_PARAMETER28=, |HIDE_PARAMETER18=, |HIDE_PARAMETER20=, |HIDE_PARAMETER5=, |HIDE_PARAMETER19=, |HIDE_PARAMETER10=, |HIDE_PARAMETER33=, |HIDE_PARAMETER31=, |HIDE_PARAMETER29=, |HIDE_PARAMETER11=, |HIDE_PARAMETER26=, |HIDE_PARAMETER8=, |HIDE_PARAMETER7=, |HIDE_PARAMETER23=, |HIDE_PARAMETER27=, and |HIDE_PARAMETER12= (help)CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

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