Alexander Carse

Scottish (about 1770 - 1843)
Alexander Carse Alexander Carse, c 1770 - 1843. Artist (Self-portrait) 1811


Born about 1770
Died 1843
Nationality Scottish

Carse was an assistant to David Allan before the artist's death in 1796, and undoubtedly received preliminary artistic training from him. Allan's influence on Carse's small, vivacious genre scenes is evident. In 1801, he attended the Trustees' Academy in Edinburgh, but this training did not yield the benefits and success that it did for his contemporaries like David Wilkie, and later in life Carse described himself as 'a painter, chiefly of domestic, familiar and poetical subjects'. Carse's pictures combine an honest realism with charm and wit. He was adept at capturing the different manners and customs of town and country folk, and recognised that the distinctions between these two ways of life were rapidly becoming fainter.

Glossary terms

  • A French term that denotes different types of paintings, such as landscape, portrait or still life. The phrase ‘genre painting’ is used specifically to describe works depicting everyday scenes.

  • Used generally for art that attempts to represent things as they appear. It specifically refers to a mid-19th century movement in France, led by Gustave Courbet, that rejected the sometimes obscure subject matter of academic painting in favour of more accessible scenes of everyday life.