Narrative painter Erskine Nicol was born in Leith and studied at The Trustees' Academy. He then taught at Leith High School before moving to Dublin, where everyday Irish life provided him with subject material. Returning to Edinburgh in 1850, Nicol exhibited regularly at the Royal Scottish Academy and also at the Royal Academy. During the 1860s he lived in London and kept a studio in Ireland. When ill-health curtailed his travels, he replaced his Irish studio for one in Perthshire. Nicol's paintings of country-folk were often humorous, but not unkind, or sentimental. He died at Feltham, Middlesex.