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(b Murdieston House, Lanarkshire, 1723; d Rome, 4 Jan. 1798). Scottish painter, archaeologist, and picture-dealer. He visited Italy in 1748–50 and in 1756 settled permanently in Rome (although he made visits to Britain), becoming a leading member of the Neoclassical circle of Mengs and Winckelmann. As an artist he concentrated on history paintings, and he is one of the few British artists of his time (with Barry and the Anglo-Americans Copley and West) to make a significant contribution in this field.

Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)