Robert Scott Lauder

John Gibson Lockhart, 1794 - 1854, and Charlotte Sophia Scott, Mrs Lockhart, 1799 - 1837 (post-humous likeness). Son-in-law and biographer of Scott (after 1838)

About this artwork

Biographer, essayist and reviewer John Gibson Lockhart married Sophia, the eldest daughter of the novelist Sir Walter Scott, in 1820. The couple lived on a cottage on Scott's estate at Abbotsford in the Borders. This double portrait seems to have been painted after Sophia's death in 1837 and may therefore be a memorial to their marriage. This would explain Sophia's dominance in the picture and the prominence given to her left hand, with her wedding ring at the forefront of the picture.

Robert Scott Lauder

Robert Scott Lauder

Lauder was born in Edinburgh and was encouraged by David Scott to become a painter. He studied at the Trustees' Academy in Edinburgh for two years from 1822. Lauder spent time in London and then five years in Italy. He returned to London and was best known for his subject pictures, often based on the works of Sir Walter Scott, but he never received the official recognition he sought. He returned to Edinburgh in 1852 as Director of the Trustees' Academy. Lauder was also a hugely influential teacher. His pupils included Orchardson, Pettie, McTaggart and Chalmers.