Gourlay Steell, (1819 - 1894) 

Gourlay Steell RSA (1819-1894) was a 19th-century Scottish artist.  Gourlay was born at 20 Calton Hill in Edinburgh on 22 March 1819 the son of John Steell, a wood-carver and Margaret Gourlay of Dundee. His elder brother John was a sculptor of national standing.

 

He studied under William Allan and Robert Scott Lauder.

Aged only 13 he had his first piece displayed at the Royal Scottish Academy, a model of a greyhound, and in 1835 he displayed a full-size sculpture of a bloodhound. From that year until death he exhibited almost continually.

By the 1840s he had established himself and was living in a fine house at 33 East Claremont Street in Edinburgh's New Town.

In 1872 he was appointed the official painter of animals to Queen Victoria, succeeding Sir Edwin Landseer. In 1882 he replaced Sir William Fettes Douglas as Curator of the National Gallery of Scotland. At this time he was living with his family at 4 Palmerston Place in Edinburgh's West End.

He died on 31 January 1894 at 23 Minto Street, Edinburgh and was buried in Morningside Cemetery, Edinburgh with his wife Jessie Anderson who had died 14 years earlier. The exceptionally modest grave has fallen, and lies forlornly in the westmost section of the cemetery, between two modern housing developments. His son, David George Steell ARSA followed in his footsteps and became an animal artist.

4 Dundas Street New Town EH3 6HZ Edinburgh

Monday - Friday 10 am - 6 pm  Saturday 11 am - 4 pm

 

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