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Thomas Faed, 1825 - 1900. Artist (in his studio)

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Thomas Faed, 1825 - 1900. Artist (in his studio) About 1865

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
This painting is one of three by Ballantyne of the artist Thomas Faed at work. It is part of a larger series of works that show artists in their studios, most of which were completed by 1864 with some later additions. In this painting, Faed’s easel is facing outwards so that the spectator can see the unfinished canvas of ‘The Mitherless Bairn’ – the orphan. This work was Faed's first great success, but it was exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1855, about a decade before Ballantyne painted his view of Faed’s studio. Thomas Faed was the youngest of three artist brothers. His narrative genre paintings were very popular in his lifetime and many were published as prints and were sold to a larger Victorian audience.

Glossary Open

Easel painting

An easel is a structure that supports a painting while an artist is working on it. Any painting that is executed on an easel could be called an easel painting, though it specifically refers to a portable painting larger than a miniature.


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.


An image pressed or stamped onto paper or fabric. This encompasses a wide variety of techniques, usually produced in multiples, although one-off prints, known as monoprints, are also included. The term is also applied to photographic images.

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.

Easel painting, Genres, Print, Royal Scottish Academy


  • Acc. No. PG 962
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 63.50 x 76.20 cm (framed: 80.30 x 93.40 x 7.00 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1923