Cameron, David Young

SKU: AUT1013


Sir David Young Cameron (28 June 1865 – 16 September 1945) was a Scottish painter and etcher. Autograph Card Writing Signed, n.d. 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 "Kippen. 14.6.1/35." must refer to a painting that was sold. Written in blk ink overall, fine condition.

Cameron was the son of the Rev. Robert Cameron and was born in Glasgow, Scotland. From around 1881 he studied at the Glasgow School of Art and in 1885 enrolled at the Edinburgh Schools of Art. Cameron became a skilled etcher making a name for himself in this medium and gaining international recognition by the 1890s.

He was elected associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers (RE) in 1889. In 1895 he was elected Fellow of the RE. He exhibited regularly from 1889 to 1902, before resigning his membership in 1903. His subjects included architectural studies, of which he produced a number of popular ‘sets’ and landscapes. He received various medals and awards for his etchings. It was during this time that he published a number of sets of etchings (such as "The Clyde Set", "The North Holland Set" and "The North Italian Set").

In general his prints feature areas of great darkness, offset by highlights. Cameron would later become known for his church interiors and barren landscapes of Scotland done in drypoint. The feathery lightness of these drypoints was in visual contrast with the rock and water of the subjects. He became highly sought after by collectors, until the Great Crash in 1929 brought a collapse in prices for prints in general.

He exploited his popularity by producing an unprecedented number of states of his prints, and is believed to hold the record at twenty-eight states in one case. As well as becoming well known as an etcher the artist also produced a great many oil paintings and watercolour sketches of landscapes and architectural subjects. Cameron’s earliest known oil painting dates to 1883.

His work was influenced by the Glasgow Boys and the Hague School. His first exhibition of 14 paintings received mixed reviews. Amongst the many good reviews others described his work as lacking in subtlety and substance with too much concentration on decoration. This was due in part to his romanticising of his subjects. From 1900 he stopped exhibiting portraits and figure studies, concentrating solely on landscapes and architectural subjects in both his painting and etching. In 1917-18 Cameron was commissioned by the Canadian Government to paint the war in France.

Cameron was knighted in 1924 and was a Trustee of the Tate Gallery from 1921 to 1927 and the Scottish National Galleries, and was the King’s Painter and Limner in Scotland 1933. Cameron died in Perth, Scotland on 16 September 1945.