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Waller Hugh Paton RSA RSW (1828-1895)

Waller Hugh Paton, RSA RSW (1828-1895)

Waller Hugh Paton is said to have been the first Scottish painter to have ‘painted a picture throughout in the open air’ (George Gregory Smith, writing in Sir Sidney Lee (ed), The Dictionary of National Biography, London: Smith, Elder & Company, 1895, vol 44, page 38). Certainly he was one of the first in his generation to do so. Prolific and painstaking, he produced many fine views of the hill country of Perthshire, Aberdeenshire and especially the Isle of Arran, becoming well known for his sunsets.

Waller Hugh Paton was born at Wooers’ Alley Cottage, Dunfermline, Fife, on 27 July 1828, the youngest of three children of the damask designer, Joseph Neil Paton, and his wife, the folklorist, Catherine (née McDiarmid). He was the brother of the leading Scottish Victorian fairy painter, Joseph Noel Paton, and the prominent sculptor, Amelia Robertson Hill. (In 1862, Amelia became the wife of the painter and pioneering photographer, David Octavius Hill.)

Though, at first, he assisted his father as a designer of damask, Paton soon developed an interest in landscape painting and, in 1848, at the age of 20, took lessons in watercolour from the historical genre painter, John Houston RSA. In that year, he exhibited his first painting,
The Antique Room, Wooers’ Alley, by Firelight, at an exhibition in Glasgow.

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Rivers (1)
Sunsets & Sunrises (1)

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Scotland (2)