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Joseph Farquharson R.A
A Scottish painter, Joseph Farquharson combined a career as a painter with his inherited role as laird of Finzean. His father, the 10th laird, was a doctor with an Edinburgh practice, and a competent amateur artist who encouraged Joseph. Much of his childhood was spent at Finzean. He trained at the Royal Scottish Academy Life School and Trustees’ Academy, Edinburgh. During the 1860s he was strongly influenced by the landscape painter Peter Graham (1836–1921). The watershed in his career was marked by three or four winters spent from 1880 onwards in Paris in the studio of Carolus-Duran. An admirer of Velázquez, Carolus-Duran taught his students to use the brush straight away and think in terms of form and color. As a result Farquharson’s work was always characterized by richly handled paint. Landscape was not taught, but Farquharson would have been aware of the Barbizon painters.
Back at Finzean he adapted French plein-air techniques to the Scottish climate. He designed a painting hut on wheels, fitted with large windows and a stove. From this hut he painted the great wooded landscapes on which his reputation rested. Autumn Gold is a good example of his mature style. He exhibited his paintings at the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, the Royal Academy and the Royal Institution, London. There are a large number of prints after his work, which increased his popularity. Many of his winter snow scenes are still produced today as Christmas cards. Today he is best known for his Scottish wooded landscapes in different seasons. Paintings by Farquharson are in museum collections in Aberdeen, Leeds, Liverpool and the National Gallery London.
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