Photo credit: Sandwell Museums Service Collection
(b Stockbridge [now a district of Edinburgh], 24 Oct. 1796; d London, 25 Nov. 1864). Scottish painter. He was apprenticed to a house painter, then worked as a scene painter for theatres in Edinburgh and Glasgow. In 1822 he settled in London and worked at the Drury Lane Theatre with his friend Clarkson Stanfield. From 1833 he travelled widely in Europe and the Mediterranean basin and made a fortune with his topographical views. He worked in oil and watercolour and published lavishly illustrated books, among them the six-volume Views in the Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia (1842–9). His work can be monotonous when seen en masse, but at his best he combines bold design with precise observation.
Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)