Alexander Fraser, (Jnr.)

(3 November 1827 - 24 May 1899)

Born in 1828 at Woodcockdale, near Linlithgow. Even as a boy he was employed in stippling in background, for portraits. His father, an able amateur artist, sent him to study in Ediniburgh. He was first represented in the Royal Scottish Academy Exhibition by a figure subject, but his true forte was landscape. He was early appreciated, and was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1858. In 1862 he became Royal Scottish Academician, and his diploma work 'At Barnclueth' hangs in the gallery. Some of his best landscapes were painted in Surrey and in Cadzow Forest. He died in Musselburgh in 1899. His principal works comprise 'Among the Surrey Hills,' 'Sunshine in Spring-time,' 'Glenfalloch,' 'The Margin of the Forest,' and 'A Trout Stream in the Highlands.' He depicted especially the brighter moods of Nature, delighting in the changing lights on hill and moor and the rich colour of summer woodland and autumn fields; and the fine composition, sound technique, and fresh atmospheric quality of the pictures of his best period entitle him to an honourable place among our landscape painters.

Bryan's dictionary of painters and engravers, 1903

Fraser, Alexander. (Brit) Born in Linlithgowshire, but for many years a resident of Edinburgh, and a member of the Royal Scottish Academy, where his paintings are exhibited. He devotes himself to landscape-painting. Among his works are, "A Fisherman's Home," "Highland Landscape," "The Margin of the Forest," "Highland Cottage Interior," etc. To the Royal Scottish Academy in 1878 he sent "In Glen Aman," "Trout Stream in the West Highlands," "Springtime at Dingleton," and others.

"Alexander Fraser enters not so much into the sublimity as he seeks to revel in the cheerfulness of the outer world. He paints the moorland, the gleaming water, and the rustic bridge, with rain clearing off from the heavy clouds; and the freshness of his fancy, dallying with the green and russet of the varying seasons, attains to very attractive results." -- Art Journal, April, 1873.

Artists of the Nineteenth Century & Biographical Sketches. By Clara Erskine Clement & Laurence Hutton, 1879. div

Alexander Fraser, (Jnr.)
Born: 3 November 1827, Woodcockdale, near Linlithgow, Scotland, UK
Died: 24 May 1899 (aged 71), Musselburgh, Scotland
Spouse: Jane Duncan
Nationality: Scottish
Field: Landscape Painting
Training: Trustees Drawing Academy of Edinburgh
Elected: Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy 1858
Elected: Royal Scottish Academician 1862

Alexander Fraser (1827-1899) was a Scottish landscape painter who is also known as Alexander Fraser the Younger as his father, Alexander George Fraser (1786–1865), was also a Scottish painter. Fraser was the biographer of the Scottish artist, Horatio McCulloch.

Alexander Fraser was born at Woodcockdale, near Linlithgow on 3rd November 1827 and was baptised on 11th January 1828 at Linlithgow. Fraser's mother was Jessie Moir. His education began in Glasgow but he had most of his schooling at Lanark Grammar School. He married Jane Duncan on 15th April 1859 in Edinburgh and they had a son and daughter. He died on 24th May 1899 at Musselburgh.

According to Edward Pinnington's biography of Fraser, he was brought up at Dunoon on the coast of Argyll, and in an unfinished autobiography, he described his early passion for art: "At an early age I evinced a taste for art, covering every scrap of paper I laid hands on (as indeed most children do) with drawings of horses and boats. When lost -- a matter of frequent occurrence -- I was usually found at a pit on the seashore, busily modelling in clay, often with a shell lying before me to copy from. Thus early had a taste to work from nature shewn itself."

His father's paints, oils, palettes and brushes were "the tools of childhood" and not surprisingly he resolved that "I will be a painter, and nothing else." About 1847, he went to Edinburgh and enrolled at the Trustees' Academy (which later became Edinburgh College of Art) under Thomas Duncan. From 1849-53 he attended the life school of the Royal Scottish Academy. His first commission dates from about 1850. In 1858 he was elected an associate of the Royal Scottish Academy and became an academician in 1862.

Notable Paintings:
Undershot Mill, North Wale (c.1857; The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow)
Study for Bothwell Castle (The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow)
At Barnclueth (1863; Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh)
Haymaking on the Avon (National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh)
Mary, Queen of Scots Bedroom, Holyroodhouse (Royal Collection)
Welsh Cottage, Vale Of Conway (Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery)

Art Cyclopedia - The Ultimate Guide to Great Art Online; en.Wikipedia; Scottish Landscape: The Life and Works of Horatio Macculloch, photographed by T. Annan, [and described] with a sketch of his life by Alexander Fraser, Edinburgh: A. Elliot, 1872. This biography was definitely written by Alexander Fraser and not his father Alexander George Fraser (1786-1865). Macculloch died in 1867 and this biography was clearly written after his death. The British Library and other catalogues are mistaken in attributing it to his father. Cf. British Library catalogue at www.bl.uk.; Births, marriages and deaths information available at the General Register Office for Scotland, Scotlands People Centre in Edinburgh, and also at scotlandspeople.gov.uk; Edward Pinnington, Alexander Fraser, R.S.A. The Art Journal, London.


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