Elected ARSA: 18 March 1925

Elected RSA: 12 February 1930

By the death of David Foggie, R.S.A., R.S.W., a distinguished painter and one of the great personalities of our time, who gave more- over fifteen years of unremitting and brilliant service as its Secretary, the Academy has suffered the severest possible loss. David Foggie was born in Dundee in 1878 and was educated at Dundee High School. At the age of twenty, as was the custom with Dundee students of his time, he went to Antwerp to train as an artist.


Those who knew him will not be surprised to learn that the youth who became the David Foggie we knew maintained himself, at this period of his life, on £30 a year. It is consistent with the character of the man. At the end of two years here turned to this country and married in 1902, after which he went again to Antwerp and continued his training for two more years. Subsequently he studied in Paris, Florence, and Holland.


He began his career as an artist in Leuchars in Fife and in Dundee; while working in this city he was in close association with Stewart Carmichael, John Duncan, and Alexander Grieve. He went to Edinburgh in 1920 toa part-time teaching appointment in the College of Art which he held for some years. He was elected an associate member of the Royal  Scottish Academy in 1925 and a full member in 1930, and, on the death of James Paterson, Secretary of the Academy in 1932.


His work, executed in Oil, Water-colour, Pastel, and Charcoal, everywhere shows a knowledge of the past and the marks of education and scholarship. It is characterised by a soundness of drawing which became ever more and more exacting as he reacted ever more strongly against everything fortuitous and accidental.


His contribution to Scottish art are those portraits of lower-class, middle-aged, robust types of Scottish people, which he invests with a sense of weight and a quiet dignity at times recalling the simplicity of Greek art, and in the very high standard of excellence which is

Consistently maintained by all the work he did.


But, perhaps, greater than his work was the man himself. Interested in all cultural matters, and entertaining the highest of ideals in Art, he brought to their propagation a zeal and an energy (amazing in one so soberly built) which made for a personality so powerful that the name of David Foggie is known in every part of Scotland where Art is in question. Nor could this influence have been maintained had it not been for the integrity and disinterestedness which were strong features of his character.


Examples of his work are to be found in Galleries in Dundee, Paisley, Edinburgh, Stratford, Aberdeen, and Glasgow. He is survived by his wife, three sons (one of whom is a painter) and a daughter.

 RSA Obituary, transcribed from 1948 RSA Annual Report

Further Images

David Foggie RSA (1878-1948), Woman with Clasped Hands

oil on canvas laid on plywood panel, 1927

RSA Diploma Collection Deposit, 1931. 1994.036