George Paul Chalmers
George Paul Chalmers - A Famous Scottish Artist "The Angus Rembrandt"
George Paul Chalmers (1833-1878) was born, on the 12th of November, 1833, in Montrose, the son of Stewart Chalmers and Mary Torrie. Following his education at Montrose he was apprenticed to a ship's chandler. However the work was not to Chalmers liking and, in 1853, he moved to Edinburgh to pursue his love of art at the Trustees' Academy in Edinburgh, then directed by Robert Scott Lander. While there he studied the old masters by copying them from those displayed in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh. He developed an interest in the works of Rembrandt, Turner, Velazquez, and Veronese.
Chalmers was a perfectionist, he would never be satisfied with his works of art. He admitted that he would often continue to work on a piece far beyond the point at which it had reached its best. At other times he would leave the work unfinished after suffering from one of his frequent fits of depression.
George Chalmers was among a group of extremely talented Scottish artists who studied at the Trustees' Academy of Edinburgh under Robert Scott Lauder. Because of their varying styles and techniques the group was never refered to as a "school" of painters but they excelled in their use of colour and use of textures.Chalmers was heavily influenced by Lauder but also by his favoured artists, especially Rembrandt.
Chalmers is best known for his wonderful landscapes and portraits which include "The Legend" which he painted in 1864 and kept in his possession (pictured to the right - click to enlarge) and became his most well known work. Following Chalmers death it was purchased by the Association for the Promotion of Fine Arts Scotland for 500 guineas and can now be viewed at the National Gallery in Edinburgh.
He was described by Mr. Charles Carter, a former director of the Aberdeen Art Gallery, as the "Angus Rembrandt".
In 1867 he was elected an associate member of the Royal Scottish Academy and in 1871 he became a full member of the RSA.
George Paul Chalmers died on 16 February 1878, at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Chalmers had been taken there, badly wounded and heavily concussed, following a violent attack near Charlotte Square.