(b Edinburgh, 27 Mar. 1832; d London, 13 Apr. 1910). Scottish painter of genre subjects and portraits, active in London from 1862. He made his name with historical costume pieces, but he later did his finest work in modern-day scenes of upper-class married life. In these he used large empty spaces to create feelings of psychological tension or despair. The best-known are The First Cloud (1887, Tate, London) and a pair representing A Marriage of Convenience (1883, Glasgow AG, and 1886, Aberdeen AG).
Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)