Joseph Farquharson

(1846 - 1935)

A popular and prolific landscape painter, especially known for his winter subjects, Joseph Farquharson studied first with Peter Graham, RA (1836-1921) and then at the Board of Manufacture School in Edinburgh and the Life School at the Royal Scottish Academy. As Laird of Finzean, Aberdeenshire, he was the owner of a beautiful country estate close to Balmoral, which provided him with many of his subjects, using a mobile painting hut in winter to paint his celebrated snowy scenes. In 1880 he spent a year in Paris studying with Charles Carolus Duran (1827-1917).

He first exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy at the age of thirteen and he exhibited at the Royal Academy in London regularly from 1873 onwards, also exhibiting at the Fine Art Society in 1887. Many of his subjects included the Scottish people at their daily tasks and also some with fishing subjects. Occasionally he painted portraits. In 1855 he visited Egypt and until 1893 submitted paintings with Egyptian subjects to the Royal Academy. He was elected ARA in 1900 and RA some years later.

Sickert wrote an essay comparing him with Courbet and preferring Farquharson: - “Farquharson’s extraordinary virtuosity has been developed by experience, but it arises certainly from the fact that he is thinking of telling his story. The arrest of the fox in the snow of the picture called “Supper Time” is a breathless moment. The subject is the very raison d’être of the picture. Bloomsbury will perhaps tell you that it is wrong to paint a live fox. Fortunately the writ of Bloomsbury does not run in the North of Scotland.”

His works can be found in museums in: Aberdeen; Cardiff; Edinburgh; Glasgow; Leeds; Liverpool; London, National Gallery and Manchester.