Scottish painter. He was apprenticed to a house painter, then worked as a scene painter for a travelling circus and Glasgow and Edinburgh theatres, in 1822 he settled in London and worked at the Drury Lane Theatre with his friend Clarkson Stanfield. From 1831 he travelled widely in Europe and the Mediterranean basin and made a fortune with his topographical views.
He worked in oil and watercolour and published lavishly illustrated books, among them the six-volume The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt & Nubia (1842-49). His work can be monotonous when seen en masse, but at his best he combines bold design with precise observation.
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