John Sydney Steel, (1863-1932)
John Sydney Steel was alongside Vincent Balfour-Browne the most famous painter of deer in Scotland. He was educated at Perth Academy and Madras College, St Andrews.
His best work was done in oils but he also painted watercolours and produced some admirable etchings. Alongside deer he also painted some fine pictures of African and Arab life. Because of his ill-health he stayed several times in North Africa.
Steel's work was not in the clearcut style usually beloved by sportsmen but was as a rule low in tone, with mist, snow or rain as the prevailing motif. He cherished a winters day on a steep hillside with deer grazing their way through mist or snow; few painters could capture the gleam of wintry sunlight on the high hills as he did. He had a rich knowledge of the Scottish Highlands, its rivers, moors and mountains, its deer and wild game.