Elected ARSA: 14 November 1849

Thomas Faed, R.A, H.RS A.. was born in 1826 at Barlay Mill, Gatehouse of Fleet, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, where his father was a Millwright and Engineer. Having early shown a strong feeling for Art, he came to Edinburgh when yet a youth, and entered the Board of Trustees’ School of Design, as a student under Sir William Allan, where in course of 1847 he gained the first prize for Painting. He also studied Miniature painting under his elder brother, Mr. John Faed, R.S.A., who at that time practised the art in Edinburgh.


He exhibited his first picture in the Royal Scottish Academy in 1844,é water-colour called “Scene from the Old English Baron,” and soon after took to oil painting. For eight consecutive years he contributed liberally to the Academy's Annual Exhibition. In 1852 he removed to London ; his works, however, were frequently seen thereafter in the Royal Scottish Academy, and continued to be very attractive.


To domestic genre painting he was devoted, and in that branch of art achieved great distinction and success. For the subjects of his works he generally chose incidents in the cottage life of Scotland, its song and story. A considerable number of his pictures have been engraved.


Among his most characteristic works are: “The Draught Players,” 1847; “The Thorn in the Foot.” 1848; “First Letter from the Emigrants,” 1849; Scott and his Literary Friends at Abbotsford,” engraved by his brother, Mr. James Faed; “ The First Step,” 1852; “The Mitherless Bairn.” 1855; “The First Break in the Family,” 1857; “ From Dawn to Sunset,” 1873; Home and the Homeless,” 1856: “Sunday in the Backwoods,” 1859; “Coming Events Cast their Shadows before” and  “His only Pair,” 1860; “From Dawn to Sunset,” 1861; “The Silken Gown” and “The Irish Orange Girl,” 1863; “Our Washing Day” and “Baith Father and Mither,” 1864; “Pot Luck” and “Ere Care Begins,” 1866; “Worn Out,” “ The Flower of Dunblane,” and “The Cradle,” 1868; “ Homeless,” 1869; “ A Highland Mother,” 1870; “ A Wee Bit Fractious,” 1871.


He was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1850, but resigned on his election to the Associateship of the Royal Academy in 1862. In the same year he was elected an Honorary Member of the Royal Scottish Academy, and in further recognition of his high talent as a painter he was entertained by the Members of the Academy at a banquet given in Edinburgh in 1873. He died at his residence in London on 17th August 1900.


RSA Obituary, transcribed from 1900 RSA Annual Report

Further Images

Thomas Faed ARSA HRSA (1826-1900), Compositional study of a family by a bedside (study for painting from Dawn to Sunset)

ink on paper, around 1862-64

Gifted by Miss Christine Grigor, 1936. 2014.224