Robert McGregor (1847-1922)
Although he at the time had not had any art training he was employed at Nelson’s book publishers in Edinburgh as a book illustrator. He attended the RSA Life schools and simultaneously was taught by a French artist to paint and draw. He first exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1873 and was elected a member there in 1889. He continued to exhibit at the RSA until 1914. McGregor travelled frequently to France in particular to Brittany and Normandy and to the Netherlands.
In France he was influenced by the painters Jean-François Millet (1814–1875) and Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848–1889). In the Netherlands he was influenced by the painters Anton Mauve (1838–1888) and Jozef Israëls (1824–1911), hence the changing styles of his work.
James Lewis Caw (1864–1950), director of the Scottish National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, wrote of McGregor that he probably was the first Scottish genre painter to apply rigorous study of tone in his work and a pleasant if restricted colourist. Although he had learned much of some of his modern Dutchmen and his pictures were individual and have a sentiment of their own. Others praised him for the combination of tone with quiet colours and the more subtle light of the Dutch coast. McGregor died in Edinburgh in 1922.