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 Horatio McCulloch  (1806 - 1867)

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Lived/Active: United Kingdom/Scotland      Known for: landscape painting, theatre sets

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Ad Code: 3
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from Auction House Records.
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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.

Horatio McCulloch (R.S.A.), sometimes written M'Culloch, (1806 in Glasgow, Scotland – June 24, 1867 in Edinburgh, Scotland) was a Scottish landscape painter.

He was trained in the studio of the Glasgow landscape painter John Knox (1778–1845) for about one year alongside David Macnee (1806-1882) and at first earned his living as a decorative painter. He was then engaged at Cumnock, painting the ornamental lids of snuffboxes, and afterwards employed in Edinburgh by William Home Lizars, the engraver, to colour the illustrations in Prideaux John Selby's British Birds and similar works.

After he moved to Edinburgh in 1825, he began painting in the tradition of Alexander Nasmyth. Working from nature, he was greatly influenced in his early practice by the watercolours of H. V. Williams. He returned to Glasgow in 1827, and was employed on several large pictures for the decoration of a public hall in St. George's Place, and he also worked as a theatrical scene-painter. Gradually MacCulloch asserted his individuality, and formed his own style.

In 1829 McCulloch first figured in the Royal Scottish Academy's exhibition. (He was a regular exhibitor year by year afterwards.) By the early 1830s McCulloch’s exhibits with the Glasgow Dilettanti Society and with the Royal Scottish Academy had begun to attract buyers, notably the newly instituted Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts in Scotland. A commission from Lord Provost James Lumsden helped established the artist's reputation within Scotland. Commissions from book and print publishers allowed him to concentrate on easel painting.

On his election as full Academician of the Scottish Academy in 1838, McCulloch settled in Edinburgh and soon became a prominent figure in the artistic life of the capital and a prolific contributor to the Royal Scottish Academy exhibitions. At the same time contact with Glasgow was maintained: McCulloch’s favorite sketching grounds were in the west, he exhibited regularly in the city and his most loyal patrons were wealthy Glasgow industrialists such as David Hutcheson, the steamship owner.

He seldom exhibited outside Scotland and only once at the Royal Academy, London (1843), but he kept in touch with London artist–friends, John Phillip, David Roberts and John Wilson (1774–1855), through correspondence and visits. His own art collection was evidence of his admiration for 17th-century Dutch painters, for J. M. W. Turner and Richard Wilson and for contemporaries such as Clarkson Stanfield.

During one of his trips to Skye he met his future wife, Marcella McLellan of Gillean, near the township of Tarskavaig. It is known that he had several dogs of the Skye Terrier breed at his Edinburgh home and it is possible that he brought them from Skye with his wife.

McCulloch died on June 24 in 1867. He is buried at Warriston Cemetery in Edinburgh.

His widow Marcella McLellan from Sleat on the Isle of Skye, after his death emigrated to Australia. They had no children.

During his lifetime Horatio McCulloch became one of the best-known and most successful landscape painters in Scotland. His painted the silence of the Highland wilderness where the wild deer roam with the kind of poetic truthfulness he admired in Wordsworth. The accomplished watercolours and broadly painted oil sketches that he produced throughout his career attracted little notice at the time and have remained comparatively unknown.

His early works include paintings of Cadzow Forest near Hamilton and grand views of the Clyde. He undertook regular summer sketching tours of the West Highlands, completing the sketches as paintings as back in his studio. These paintings celebrate the romantic scenery of the Scottish Highlands and evoke a magnificent sense of scale, emphasizing the dramatic grandeur. Horatio McCulloch had by his death in 1867 created the essential iconography of the Highlands.

His best known works include:
    •    Inverlochy Castle (1857)
    •    Landscape Evening (c1860)
    •    Glencoe, Argyllshire (1864)
    •    Loch Katrine (1866)

"Horatio McCulloch", Wikipedia, // (Accessed 8/28/2013)

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