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Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

John Pettie (1839-1893), Painter

Painter; born Edinburgh, 17 March 1839. Studied alongside William Quiller Orchardson at Trustees’ Academy, Edinburgh, under Robert Scott Lauder 1855–c.1860; moved to London 1862 where ‘quickly established himself as the leader of a group of expatriate Scottish painters’; [1] successful, industrious painter of history and costume subjects, and later of portraits; exhibited prolifically at Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh 1858–93 with intermissions, at Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, from its foundation in 1861 until his death, with intermissions, and uninterruptedly at Royal Academy 1860–93; elected ARA 1866, RA 1874; died 21 February 1893, at Hastings.

Hilda Orchardson’s childhood impression of Pettie was of ‘… extraordinarily blue eyes, a nondescript nose, fresh complexion, and friendly energetic ways; he simply radiated energy and kindliness’. [2]

His appearance in 1878: ‘He was rather grave of countenance, looking more like a University Don than an artist, though, I believe, to intimate friends he could be very free and easy.’ [3]

Carol Blackett-Ord

Footnotesback to top

1) McKenzie 2004.
2) Gray 1930, p.64.
3) Fea 1927, pp.208–9.

Referencesback to top

Cooper 1876–83
Cooper, T., Men of Mark: A Gallery of Contemporary Portraits of Men Distinguished in the Senate, the Church, in Science, Literature and Art, the Army, Navy, Law, Medicine, etc. Photographed from life by Lock and Whitfield, London, 7 ser., 1876–83.

Errington 1983
Errington, L., Master Class: Robert Scott Lauder and His Pupils, exh. cat., National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1983.

Fea 1927
Fea, A., Recollections of Sixty Years, London, 1927.

Gould 2004
Gould, V.F., G.F. Watts: The Last Great Victorian, London, 2004.

Gray 1930
Gray, H.O., The Life of Sir William Quiller Orchardson RA, DCL, HRSA, PSPP, London, 1930.

Hardie 1908
Hardie, M., John Pettie R.A., H.R.S.A., London, 1908.

Maas 1984
Maas, J., The Victorian Art World in Photographs, London, 1984.

McKenzie 2004
McKenzie, R., ‘Pettie, John (1839–1893), ODNB, Oxford, 2004.

McMaster 2008
McMaster, J., ‘That Mighty Art of Black-and-White: Linley Sambourne, Punch and the Royal Academy’, British Art Journal, Autumn 2008, pp.62–76.

McMaster 2009
McMaster, J., That Mighty Art of Black-and-White: Linley Sambourne, Punch and the Royal Academy, Edmonton, Canada, 2009.

Ormond 2010
Ormond, L., Linley Sambourne: Illustrator and Punch Cartoonist, London, 2010.

Robinson [1892]
Robinson, R.W., Members and Associates of the Royal Academy of Arts, 1891. Photographed in their Studios by Ralph W. Robinson of Redhill, n.p., [1892].

Carol Blackett-Ord