James Archer RSA

  • Born : 1823
  • Died : 1904
  • Associate Elected : 13/11/1850
  • Academician Elected : 10/02/1858

BIOGRAPHY

  • Born : 1823
  • Died : 1904
  • Associate Elected : 13/11/1850
  • Academician Elected : 10/02/1858

RSA Obituary, transcribed from the 1904 RSA Annual Report

James Archer, R.S.A., the oldest Member of the Academy, was born at Edinburgh in 1823. He was educated at the High School, and, having a decided taste for Art, became a student of the Board of Trustees’ School of Design. His first exhibit in the Royal Scottish Academy was in 1812, “The Child John in the Wilderness.” From that year he was a frequent and liberal contributor to the Annual Exhibition till 1867, when, following his removal to London, his contributions became less frequent. In 1884 he visited the United States, and two years later went to India. After three years’ residence there he returned to London in 1889.

Among his important works are :-” The Last Supper,” 1849; “The Douglas Tragedy,” 1850; “The Old Oak Chest,” 1852; “Hamlet the Dane,” 1853; “Rosalind and Celia” (Diploma Work), 1854; “Portrait of The Earl of Kintore,” 1854; “The Shadow on the Path,” 1857; “In Time of War,” 1858; “The Harvest Field – Evening,” 1859 ; “Fair Rosamond and Queen Eleanor,” 1860; “La Morte d’ Arthur,” 1861; ” King Arthur in Quest of his Mystic Sword Excalibur,” 1862; “Sir Launcelot looks on Queen Guinevere,” 1864; “Parting of Arthur and Guinevere,” 1865 ; “Henry II and Fair Rosamond,” 1868; “Fair Helen of Kirkconnel,” 1870; “The Heather Gatherers – Surrey,” 1871; “The Three Sisters,” 1874; “Portrait of Professor Blackie” (now in the Library), 1876; “Portrait of Sir Daniel Macnee” (now in the Library), 1877; “The late Earl of Dalhousie,” 1890; “O lang, lang, may their ladies sit” (Sir Patrick Spens),1894.

He was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1850 and attained the rank of Academician in 1858. In April 1900 he was appointed by the Academy its Representative Trustee of the British Institution Scholarship Fund in room of the late W. E. Lockhart, R.S.A. His death took place at Hazlemere, Surrey, on 5th September.