Sir Daniel Macnee PPRSA, OBE, LLD
- Born : 1806
- Died : 1882
- Academician Elected : 07/10/1829
RSA Obituary, transcribed from 1882 RSA Annual Report
In 1806 Daniel Macnee was born at Fintray, in Stirlingshire, but early in life was taken to Glasgow, where he spent his boyhood and received his education. His love of Art manifested itself very early, and he was scarcely more than seventeen when he was employed by a popular lecturer in the West to execute large anatomical drawings to illustrate his demonstrations. W. H. Lizars, at that time a wellknown engraver in Edinburgh, being interested in his youth and abilities, invited him to join his staff of Art workers, and Macnee having accepted this engagement, settled in Edinburgh for several years, studying at the schools of the Board of Manufactures, painting occasional portraits, and generally acquiring such skill in his Art, that he was enabled to return to Glasgow and commence practice as a portrait painter. His power of likeness-taking, and his pleasant and genial manners, soon attracted numerous sitters, and in the course of his fifty years’ practice he painted nearly all the notables of the West, and not a few with a wider reputation. Macnish, the author of “The Anatomy of Sleep,” sat to him in 1837; J. R. MacCulloch, the political economist, in 1841, together with many others of social rank and importance, such as the Duke of Hamilton, the second Viscount Melville, Lord Brougham, etc. In 1855 he received a gold medal at the great Paris Exhibition for his portrait of Dr. Wardlaw.
He was a Member of the Dilettante Society, and of the West of Scotland Academy; of this latter body – not now existing – he became President on the death of J. Graham Gilbert in 1866, and on the death of Sir George Harvey in 1876, he was unanimously elected President of the Royal Scottish Academy. This last election necessitated his removal to Edinburgh, where the last five years of his life were passed.
Sir Daniel was knighted by Her Majesty in 1877, was an L.L.D. of the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and a Deputy-Lieutenant of the County of the City of Edinburgh.