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William McTaggart, 1835 - 1910. Artist

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William McTaggart, 1835 - 1910. Artist 1870 - 1875

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
William McTaggart and George Paul Chalmers were both taught by Robert Scott Lauder at the Trustees’ Academy in Edinburgh. McTaggart was born on the Mull of Kintyre and returned there frequently from his studio in Glasgow and later from his home in Broomieknow, just outside Edinburgh. Following his time at the Trustees’ Academy, McTaggart was elected as an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy aged twenty-four. He has become known for his land and seascapes which reflect his fascination with nature and man’s relationship with it. Chalmer’s portrait of his friend focuses on his face, where the painting is more detailed in comparison to the fluid and expressive brushstrokes of his jacket.

Glossary Open

Royal Scottish Academy

The Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) was formed in Edinburgh in 1826 by Scottish artists who felt alienated by what they perceived as the elitism of the Royal Institution and its management of contemporary art exhibitions. In 1835, the RSA secured exhibition rights in the Royal Institution building, which had been erected on The Mound by the Board of Manufactures in 1826. The RSA and the Board frequently argued over responsibilities for advanced art education. From 1859, the RSA shared the premises of the new National Gallery of Scotland under the Board’s custody. In 1910, after transferring most of its art collections to the Gallery, the RSA gained exclusive tenancy of the former Royal Institution building, where it continues to hold large-scale annual exhibitions.

Royal Scottish Academy


  • Acc. No. PG 2798
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 76.80 x 65.40 cm (framed: 108.70 x 95.80 x 9.50 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1989