J. G. Bartholomew was born in Edinburgh and on his father’s retirement in 1889 he took control of the family’s illustrious firm of map-engravers and publishers. As well as publishing important physical and statistical maps, Bartholomew was responsible for initiating the production of ‘The Times Survey Atlas of the World’. However, he did not live to see it published in 1922. His interest in the development of the geographical sciences led Bartholomew to help found the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 1884. This portrait was painted to commemorate him receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh in 1909 and shows him in his robe with set of compasses and a globe, symbolising his activities.