William Beattie Brown RSA 1831-1909
Elected ARSA: 8 November 1871
Elected RSA : 10 February 1884
Born in the neighbourhood of Haddington in 1831, Mr. Brown was early brought to Leith and received his education at the High School there. He seems to have exhibited first in 1852, when a picture of his “On the Water of Leith,’ was placed in the Scottish Academy’ Exhibition, and from that date his name was seldom or never absent from the Academy’s catalogues, In 1862 his picture “Sunrise—The Carrier's Cart,’ increased his reputation both amongst the public and in Art circles.
During his earlier career his subjects were mostly drawn from the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, or from the border of Neidpath and Roslin, associated with his contributions to counties, as 1s evinced by the names of Tweed and Jed, the Academy’s exhibitions; but, from about 1860 onwards, though he frequently drew his material from the Scottish Lowlands—and, on occasion, from England and the Continent—Mr. Beattie Brown was best known as a painter of Highland scenery, in the delineation of which he struck a note which secured for him a wide popularity amongst his fellow-countrymen.
Though he held strongly individual views in regard to the affairs of the Academy, which he never failed to state with courage, his cheerful and buoyant disposition gained him many friends both within and beyond the ranks of his professional brethren. Mr. Beattie Brown was elected an Associate of the Academy in 1871, and attained full honours in 1884.
Transcribed from the 1909 RSA Annual Report