1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Simson, William

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SIMSON, WILLIAM (1800-1847), Scottish portrait, landscape and subject painter, was born at Dundee in 1800. He studied under Andrew Wilson at the Trustees' Academy, Edinburgh, and his early pictures—landscape and marine subjects—found a ready sale. He next turned his attention to figure painting, producing in 1829 the “Twelfth of August,” which was followed in 1830 by “Sportsmen Regaling” and a “Highland Deer-stalker.” In the latter year he was elected a member of the Scottish Academy; and, having acquired some means by portrait-painting, he spent three years in Italy, and on his return in 1838 settled in London, where he exhibited his “Camaldolese monk showing Relics,” his “Cimabue and Giotto,” his “Dutch Family,” and his “Columbus and his Child” at the Convent of Santa Maria la Rabida. He died in London on the 29th of August 1847. Simson is greatest as a landscapist; his “Solway Moss—Sunset,” exhibited in the Royal Scottish Academy of 1831 and now in the National Gallery, Edinburgh, ranks as one of the finest examples of the early Scottish school of landscape. His elder brother George (1791-1862), portrait-painter, was also a member of the Royal Scottish Academy, and his younger brother David (d. 1874) practised as a landscape-painter.