The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Duncan Mackellar, 1849-1908

Nationality: Scottish
Date of Birth: 1849
Place of Birth: Inverary, Argyll
Date of Death: 1908.08.13
Place of Death: Glasgow


Duncan Mackellar was a Glasgow genre and figure painter and watercolourist.


Mackellar studied art in Glasgow and London. He worked in a photographic studio tinting prints before becoming a full time painter in 1875. He specialised in painting figures and interiors of cottages and baronial halls. His paintings were notable for their delicacy of execution.

Mackellar was an active exhibitor, showing in London at the Royal Academy, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, Grosvenor Gallery and Dowdeswell's Galleries, as well as at the Royal Scottish Academy, Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Water Colours, Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Aberdeen Artists' Association and the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. In 1885 he was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Water Colours.

Mackellar was among those Glasgow painters who in 1891 appended their names to a list requesting that the Corporation of Glasgow buy JW's Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle (YMSM 137) (#12326). In 1892 JW was approached by Mary Newton Mann about contributing a sketch to an album of watercolours and black and white drawings in order to raise 400 guineas for Queen Margaret College in Glasgow. Mackellar was among those who had already promised his assistance (#03987).


Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Johnson, J., and A. Gruetzner, Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940, Woodbridge, 1980; McEwan, Peter J. M., Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture, Woodbridge, 1994.