William Home Lizars

Scottish (1788 - 1859)
William Home Lizars A Scotch Wedding Exhibited 1811


Born 1788
Died 1859
Nationality Scottish

In 1802 Lizars was apprenticed to his father who ran an Edinburgh engraving business, before entering the Trustees’ Academy in 1804 as a student of John Graham. In 1808, as he graduated from the Trustees’ Academy, Lizars began exhibiting as a portraitist and genre painter with the Associated Artists of Edinburgh. Obliged to assume responsibility for the family business after the death of his father, he practically relinquished his career as an easel painter. He expanded the business into a highly successful and diverse operation. Most prestigious of all was his involvement both as engraver and shareholder in Scott’s Provincial Antiquities (1826). He was an exceptionally skilled technician, and developed a high relief etching process which was communicated to William Blake. His stature as an engraver was recognised by his election as an Associate Engraver of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1827, and a burgess of the City of Edinburgh in 1828

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.

  • The art and architectural style that dominated Western Europe during the medieval period. Its buildings are characterised by pointed arches, strong vertical lines and elaborate window structures. The style was widely revived in the 19th century.