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 James Guthrie  (1859 - 1930)

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Lived/Active: United Kingdom/Scotland      Known for: Portraiture, realist bucolic scene painting with peasants

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Sir James Guthrie was a Scottish painter, best known in his own lifetime for his portraiture, although today more generally regarded as a painter of Scottish Realism.

Guthrie was born in Greenock, the youngest son of the Rev. John Guthrie, a clergyman, and Ann Orr.  He originally enrolled at Glasgow University to study law, but abandoned this in favour of painting in 1877.  Unlike many of his contemporaries he did not study in Paris, being mostly self-taught, although he was mentored for a short time by James Drummond in Glasgow and then John Pettie in London.

He lived most of his life in the Scottish Borders, most notably in Cockburnspath, Berwickshire, where he painted some of his most important works, including A Hind's Daughter (1883), and Schoolmates.  He was strongly influenced by the French Realists, especially Jules Bastien-Lepage, and was associated with the Glasgow Boys.

He was elected an associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1888, and a full member in 1892.  In 1902 he succeeded Sir George Reid as RSA president in 1902, and he was knighted the following year.  In 1920 the King of Belgium conferred Guthrie with the Cross of Commander of the Order of the Crown.

A member of Glasgow Art Club Guthrie exhibited often at the club's annual exhibitions.

Guthrie died in Rhu, Dunbartonshire in 1930.

National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland
Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums, Scotland
Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand
Glasgow Museums, Scotland
Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, Scotland
McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock, Scotland
national portrait Gallery, London, England
Tate Gallery, London, England
Tyne & Wear Museums, England

Sources include:

Biography from Bonhams Edinburgh:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Lord McLaren's significant series of commissions made him a notable early patron for Lavery. His support helped the artist make inroads with the Edinburgh art establishment, who had to date proved notably hostile to the 'Glasgow School'. The double portrait was Lavery's main exhibit at the Royal Academy in 1892. It was 'set up' by Lavery's great friend PW Adam, and painted at Moray Place in Edinburgh. Esther was rumoured to have had a romance with Lavery in Rome in 1895.

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