W. Graham Boss

Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, 1834 - 1921. Architect of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (1894)

About this artwork

This detailed drawing of Robert Rowand Anderson is the preliminary sketch for one of the roundels in the stained glass window commissioned for the east stairwell in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. The window was presented to the Board of Manufactures by J. R. Findlay, to commemorate the opening of the Museum of Antiquities, which was also housed in the gallery building. There are twenty-four portraits in total, each surrounded by a different floral wreath. Those featured were of the Antiquaries Society’s office bearers in 1891, with Queen Victoria at the top. Anderson was the architect of the Gallery and the window was installed in 1894. Appropriately the wreath that surrounds his portrait is made out of Rowan berries.

W. Graham Boss

W. Graham Boss

Little is known about the stained glass artist, William Graham Boss, although an advert he posted in the ‘Edinburgh and Leith Post Office Directory Advertiser, 1889-90’, provides an insight into the range of work he undertook: “Stained and Leaded Glass – Figures, Heraldry, Ornamental, Geometrical, Memorial and Church Windows, Hall and Staircase Windows, Lobby Doors, Fanlights, Window Screens and Top Sashes, Panels, Bookcases, etc”. It is believed he worked predominantly on the domestic scale although he most probably repaired and conserved the stained glass in St Magdalen’s Chapel on Edinburgh’s Cowgate in 1893. His most high profile commission was almost certainly for the commemorative stained glass window in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery which was installed in 1894.