About this artwork

Designing lighthouses ran in the Stevenson family. Thomas Stevenson, lighthouse engineer, was the youngest son of Robert Stevenson, who had designed the famous Bell Rock lighthouse. Thomas and his two brothers acted as consulting engineers to the lighthouse boards of India, New Zealand and Japan. His greatest achievement was the designing of a revolving light, an invention which won him an international reputation. His son, Robert Louis Stevenson, did not follow in the family engineering tradition, and became one of Scotland's most famous writers.

Sir George Reid

Sir George Reid

Reid was born in Aberdeen and worked first as a lithographer before moving to Edinburgh in 1862 to study at the Trustees' Academy. In 1866, supported by the Aberdeen collector, John Forbes White, he went to Holland to study under the landscape and genre painter, Gerrit Mollinger. He became a close friend of Jozef Israels. He returned to Scotland in 1869, producing landscapes and portraits influenced by both Dutch and French contemporary painting. He was elected President of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1891 and knighted in 1902.