Douglas, William (1780-1832) (DNB00)

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DOUGLAS, WILLIAM (1780–1832), miniature-painter, a descendant of the family of Douglas of Glenbervie, was born in Fifeshire 14 April 1780. He received a liberal education, and very early showed a taste for the fine arts and the beauties of nature. This led to his being placed as an apprentice to Robert Scott the engraver [q. v.] at Edin- burgh, John Burnet the engraver [q. v.] being one of his fellow-apprentices. Though he had skill as a landscape-painter, he adopted the profession of a miniature-painter, and gained considerable success, not only in Scotland, but in England. He was one of the associated artists who exhibited in Edinburgh from 1808 to 1816, and contributed to their exhibitions numerous miniatures, landscapes, and animal-pieces. He had numerous patrons, especially the Duke of Buccleuch and his family, and on 9 July 1817 he was appointed miniature-painter to Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg. His miniatures were much esteemed for their tasteful and delicate execution. Some of these were exhibited by him at the Royal Academy in London in 1818, 1819, 1826, including a portrait of Lieutenant-general Sir John Hope. Douglas died at his residence in Hart Street, Edinburgh, 30 Jan. 1832, leaving a widow, one son, and two daughters. His eldest daughter, Miss Archibald Ramsay Douglas, born 23 April 1807, also practised as a miniature-painter. She exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1834, 1836, 1841, and died in Hart Street, Edinburgh, 25 Dec. 1886.

[Anderson's Popular Scottish Biography; Anderson's Scottish Nation; Royal Academy Catalogues; information from Mr. J. M. Gray.]

L. C.