About this artwork

Printmaker John Beugo was born in Edinburgh in 1759. He was the leading Scottish engraver of his day and made reproductive prints after portraits by Henry Raeburn, Joshua Reynolds and Alexander Nasmyth. Beugo was a friend of Robert Burns, and his portrait engravings of the poet are among his best-known works. Beugo also reproduced the anatomical drawings of artist-anatomist John Bell. He later became the teacher of engraver Robert Charles Bell, who was possibly John Bell’s nephew. In 1797, Beugo anonymously published a book called ‘Poetry, Miscellaneous and Dramatic, by an Artist’. In 1808 he married Elizabeth McDowall, with whom he had a daughter. He died in Edinburgh in 1841 and was buried in Greyfriar's Churchyard.

  • title: John Beugo, 1759 - 1841. Engraver
  • accession number: PG 102
  • artist: George WillisonScottish (1741 - 1797)
  • depicted: John Beugo
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Visual arts
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: Unknown
  • measurements: 74.90 x 62.20 cm (framed: 92.00 x 79.00 cm)
  • credit line: Given by John Ritchie Findlay 1885

George Willison

George Willison

Edinburgh-born George Willison was much aided in his career by his wealthy uncle, George Dempster, who sponsored his nephew's training in Edinburgh and, from 1760 to 1767, in Rome. Willison returned to work in London until Dempster, who was Director of the East India Company, secured a post for him at the court of Mohamed Ali Khan Walejah, Nawab of the Carnatic. By the time Willison returned to Edinburgh, he was a wealthy man. Willison was primarily a painter of portraits, although examples of mythological subjects are also known.