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First Posted May 18, 2008
Sep 7, 2010

Sir Francis Grant

by Debora Johnson

Sir Francis Grant was a notable Scottish artist of the 19th century. He was an associate of the Royal Academy from 1842 and also served as President of the Royal Academy, elected in 1866, after Edwin Landseer turned down the seat. It should also be noted that Sir Francis Grant was knighted, as well. He was the brother of General Sir James Hope Grant.

Sir Francis Grant was the son of a Scottish country gentleman, not of great means. Grant was born at Kilgraston, SW of Bridge of Earn (Perth and Kinross) in 1803, and educated at Harrow School. By age 26 he had squandered his patrimony and decided to earn his living as a painter. He had taken some lessons from John Ferneley, but was for the most part a self taught painter. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1834. Sir Francis Grant was known to be a sporting and portrait painter. Melton Breakfast, The Melton Hunt and The Cottesmore Hunt are some of his well known sporting paintings. Grant painted more than 800 portraits between 1831 and his death in 1878. Scott, Macaulay, Disraeli, Palmerston, and Landseer were among his sitters. Later in life Grant suffered from a sense of inferiority to his eventual successor Lord Leighton. Grant did enjoy the Queen's patronage, however, Queen Victoria regarded him to be an amateur country gentleman rather than an artist.

Melton Breakfast

The Melton Hunt Going to Draw the Ram's Head Cover


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