Elected ARSA: 9 November 1870
Elected RSA: 10 February 1880
Otto Theodor Leyde, R.S.A., was born at Wehlau, East Prussia, in 1835, being the son of Ernest Leyde, a Rector of a school in that town. He was educated there, and studied at the Royal Academy of the Fine Arts at Keenigsberg under Professor Rossenfelder.
At the age of nineteen he came to Edinburgh, where he finally settled, and was employed for some time as a lithographic artist. He became a naturalised subject of her Majesty, devoted himself to painting, and in 1858 exhibited for the first time in the Royal Scottish Academy.
He had a considerable practice as a portrait painter both in Oil and Water Colour, and painted genre-subjects chiefly derived from Scottish life and song. Etching occupied latterly a good deal of his attention.
Among his subject pictures are “The Toon’s Drummer” (1868), “The Return” (1878), “ The Auld Sang ” (1869), and his diploma picture, “ Auld Robin Gray ” (1880). His portraits include “ Sir Thomas Jamieson Boyd ” (1873), now in the Merchant Company Hall, “The Countess of Wemyss” (1877), “The Countess of Dalhousie,’ “ Major-General Annesley,’ and “The Hon. Mrs. Cheape.”
He was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1870, and ten years later an Academician. Since 1886 he ably discharged the duties of Librarian of the Academy. He died on 11th January.
RSA Obituary, transcribed from 1897 RSA Annual Report