Irvine, James (DNB00)

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IRVINE, JAMES (1833–1889), portrait-painter, born in 1833, was eldest son of John Irvine, wright, of Meadowburn, Menmuir, Forfarshire. He was educated at Menmuir parish school; became a pupil of Colvin Smith [q. v.], the painter, at Brechin; subsequently studied at the Edinburgh Academy, and was afterwards employed by Mr. Carnegy-Arbuthnott of Balnamoon to paint portraits of the old retainers on his estate. Irvine practised as a portrait-painter for some years at Arbroath, and then removed to Montrose. After a period of hard struggle he became recognised as one of the best portrait-painters in Scotland, and received numerous commissions. He was an intimate friend of George Paul Chalmers [q. v.] Among his best-known portraits were those of James Coull, a survivor of the sea-fight between the Shannon and the Chesapeake (which was painted for Mr. Keith of Usan, and of which Irvine painted four replicas), of Dr. Calvert, rector of Montrose Academy, and other well-known residents at Montrose. He also painted some landscapes. He had begun memorial portraits of the Earl and Countess of Dalhousie for the tenantry on the Panmure estate, when he died of congestion of the lungs at his residence, Brunswick Cottage, Hillside, Montrose, 17 March 1889, in his fifty-seventh year.

[Dundee Advertiser, 18 March 1889; Scotsman, 18 March 1889.]

L. C.