ALEXANDER NASMYTH: HIS FAMILY AND INFLUENCE
"The founder of the landscape painting of Scotland, by his taste and talents took the lead for many years in the patriotic aim of enriching his native land with the representations of her romantic scenery."
- Sir David Wilkie, describing Alexander Nasmyth in a letter of condolence to his widow.
Alexander Nasmyth is best known outside Scotland for the iconic portrait he painted of his friend, Robert Burns. However, it is as a landscape painter that he is of true importance to the history of Scottish art. David Roberts, one of his protégés, remarked of Nasmyth’s influence that his work "determined him to strive to attain excellence in that branch of fine art". The encouragement and advice Nasmyth freely gave to younger artists considerably strengthened his influence on the next generation. His pupils included, amongst others, Sir David Wilkie, William Allan, Andrew Geddes, Hugh ‘Grecian’ Williams, Andrew Wilson, John Knox and the Rev. John Thomson of Duddingston. Also included in the list are his children Patrick, James, Charlotte, Margaret and Jane. Nasmyth’s vision of Scotland reaches far into the twentieth century and has come, in many ways, to define what constitutes Scottish painting.