Elected ARSA: 19 March 1919

Mr. James Riddel, who died at his residence, Balvonie, Balerno, on the 17th March 1928, in his seventieth year, was elected an Associate in 1919. Mainly known as a sympathetic painter of landscape in oil, his art was much influence by the late Sir J. Lawton Wingate, P.R.S.A., an intimate personal friend.


He was born in Glasgow in 1857. As in the case of many other painters, business occupied the early years after leaving school, and all through his life the lessons then learned were not forgotten. Mr. Riddel studied at the Glasgow School of Art, and later in Edinburgh.


Possessing remarkable teaching and administrative abilities, success attended his Headmastership of the Art Section of the Heriot-Watt College, when he came into intimate contact with the younger generation. Both before and after election as an Associate of the Academy he was a constant exhibitor.


"Moonlight," one of his last pictures, evinced no diminution in the qualities which always distinguished his Art. In later years his painting showed a wider sympathy with new developments in landscape painting, but retained the simple personal attitude which marked his work from the beginning,


Mr. Riddel's membership of the Society of Scottish Artists, and the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Water Colours, indicate the breadth of his interest. For many years he acted as Treasurer of the last-mentioned Society with great acceptance. He also rendered valuable services to the Scottish Artists' Benevolent Association, being Honorary Treasurer at the time of his death.


RSA Obituary by G Washington Browne RSA and James Paterson RSA. Transcribed from the 1928 RSA Annual Report

Further Images

James Riddel ARSA (1857-1928) Early Autumn

oil on canvas, around 1877-1928, 63.8 x 76.3cm

Gifted by the artist's son (1931) 1996.045