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Telephone: 0131 226 6932 or 0845 388 5879
46 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3NH, Scotland (TSOH)

Biography and current catalogue for

William Findlay (1875-1960) 

William Findlay was born in Glasgow on 26th July 1875, the son of a general practitioner and author. He is mainly known as a painter of portraits, figurative works, landscapes and murals in oils, but he was also a competent etcher, starting his career by illustrating several of his father's books.

He followed his education at the Glasgow High School by studying at Glasgow School of Art. Later, he went to Paris, studying at the Académie Julian, under Jean-Paul Laurens. Upon his return to Glasgow, in 1898 he set himself up as a portrait painter at 175 St Vincent Street. This coincided with the coming of age of the Glasgow School and the young Findlay was admitted to their circle. He also became associated with the “Glasgow Boys” a group of artists trained in, or with links to Glasgow, and who joined the movement towards naturalism and realism which had been emerging in France and continental Europe.

The Glasgow Boys are well represented in Glasgow City Chambers and Findlay, who by now had an interest in mural painting, was invited, with them to decorate the grand Banqueting Hall, where the frieze is adorned with his four large murals depicting the principal Scottish Rivers – Clyde, Forth, Tay & Tweed.

An admirer of the work of the Europe-based American impressionist James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), he visited the USA in 1924 and returned again in 1928 , settling in Canton, Ohio, where he acquired American citizenship and married an American. He resettled in Los Angeles in 1936 and died there on 24th September 1960

He exhibited extensively at the RGI (69 works) and at the RSA (17), RSW and once at the RA, as well as in the USA . He is represented in Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow.