The portrait painter George Fiddes Watt was born in Aberdeen. He was apprenticed to a firm of lithograph printers for seven years and attended evening classes at Gray’s School of Art. At twenty-one Watt moved to Edinburgh, where he studied at the Royal Scottish Academy and first showed four paintings in its 1897 exhibition. By 1910 Watt’s reputation as a portrait painter was established and the artist moved to London. There, he painted his best portraits, which were executed with vigour and directness in the Scottish tradition of Ramsay and Raeburn. He was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1924, but by the 1930s he had almost stopped painting due to failing eyesight.