Lees, Charles (DNB00)

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LEES, CHARLES (1800–1880), painter, born at Cupar in Fifeshire in 1800, studied art in Edinburgh, and received instructions in portraiture from Sir Henry Raeburn. He married early in life and went to Rome, where he studied for some years. On his return he settled in Edinburgh as a portrait-painter. Lees was elected one of the earliest fellows of the Royal Scottish Academy, and was a regular contributor to their exhibitions. He very seldom sent a picture to the London exhibitions. Besides portraits, he painted history, domestic subjects, and landscape, taking to the last late in life. Among his earlier pictures were 'The Murder of Rizzio,' 'The Death of Cardinal Beaton,' and 'John Knox in Prison.' He was fond of outdoor sports, and painted pictures of skaters, hockey players, and other sporting scenes. Two pictures by him of curling and golf matches were engraved; they contain a number of portraits of well-known performers at these games. A picture by him, 'Summer Moonlight — Bait-gatherers,' is in the Scottish National Gallery at Edinburgh. He also painted a large view of St. Mark's at Venice. Lees was for some years treasurer and one of the trustees of the Scottish Academy, and devoted much time to its affairs. He died on 28 Feb. 1880, of paralysis.

[Art Journal, 1880, p. 172; Builder, 1880, p. 294; Cat. of Nat. Gallery of Scotland.]

L. C.