Thomas Duncan - Encyclopedia




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THOMAS DUNCAN (1807-1845), Scottish portrait and historical painter, was born at Kinclaven, in Perthshire. He was educated at the Perth Academy, and began the study of the law, but abandoned it for art. Beginning under the instruction of Sir William Allan, he early attained distinction as a delineator of the human figure; and his first pictures established his fame so completely, that at a very early age he was appointed professor of colouring, and afterwards of drawing, in the Trustees' Academy of Edinburgh. In 1840 he painted one of his finest pictures, "Prince Charles Edward and the Highlanders entering Edinburgh after the Battle of Prestonpans," which secured his election as an associate of the Royal Academy in 1843. In the same year he produced his picture of "Charles Edward asleep after Culloden, protected by Flora MacDonald," which, like many other of his works, has been often engraved. In 1844 appeared his "Cupid" and his "Martyrdom of John Brown of Priesthill." His last work was a portrait of himself, now in the National Gallery in Edinburgh. He particularly excelled in his portraits of ladies and children. He died in Edinburgh on the 25th of May 1845.

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