John Blake MacDonald (1829-1901)

.John Blake MacDonald (R.S.A.) (1829-1901). Painter of historical subjects, especially Jacobite, also figurative works, domestic genre and latterly landscape working in both oil and watercolour. MacDonald was born in Boharm, Ayrshire, Scotland and educated there before going to Edinburgh where in 1857 he entered the RSA life school where in 1862 he won the Royal Scottish Academy prize for life painting. He studied under Scott Lauder with Chalmers and MacTaggart. He made Edinburgh his home with frequent visits to France, Belgium and in 1874 Venice. He painted in a strong, bold manner using dark colours and the chiaroscuro effects encouraged by R S Lauder. His best work was effective and very Scottish in feel. In later life he gave up figure painting in favour of landscapes. Elected ARSA 1862. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1866 to 1876. He was elected to the Royal Scottish Academy in 1877 and subsequently exhibited 76 works there. He died in Edinburgh in 1901.