Elected RSA: 7 October 1829
George Watson R.S.A. was born in 1767 at his father's property of Overmaine in Berwickshire. He received some elementary instruction in drawing from Nasmyth, at the age of 18 went to London, and painted in Sir Joshua Reynolds Studio for about two years.
He afterwards settled in Edinburgh, obtained extensive employment as a portrait painter, and long maintained an honourable rivalry with Raeburn. From 1808 to 1812 he presided over the Society of Associated Artists in Scotland and in 1826 when the Scottish Academy was instituted was elected President and held that office until his death in 1837.
RSA Obituary by William Allan RSA. Transcribed from the 1837 RSA Annual Report