Archibald Skirving

Scottish (1749 - 1819)
Archibald Skirving Archibald Skirving, 1749 - 1819. Artist (Self-portrait) Unknown

Biography

Born 1749
Died 1819
Nationality Scottish
Birth place Haddington
Death place Inveresk

Skirving was born near Haddington, East Lothian. After being educated locally, he began work as a junior clerk at the Customs Office in Edinburgh. It is thought that Skirving also studied at the Trustees' Academy in the city at the same time, while painting miniatures at night. By the end of 1777 Skirving decided to move to London to work as a professional artist. After some success, he returned to Edinburgh in the mid 1780s before spending seven working in Rome from 1787.

Glossary terms

  • A painting or drawing, usually a portrait, on a very small scale. These were popular prior to the invention of photographic portraits in the 19th century.

  • A drawing material made from ground pigment bound with enough gum or resin to hold it together in a stick, often smudged on paper to produce soft, atmospheric effects.