David Young Cameron Biography

David Young Cameron




Scottish printmaker and painter Sir David Young Cameron was born in Glasgow in 1865, the son of a clergyman. He attended the Glasgow School of Art from 1881 and enrolled at the Edinburgh Schools of Art in 1885. By the late 1880s he was a noted etcher and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers in 1895. An celebrated painter, he took inspiration from Muirhead Bone and to some degree the Glasgow Boys--whose aim was to highlight the multi-faceted landscapes and daily lives of rural Scotland--as well as the Hague School.

Largely known for his dark, heavy Scottish landscapes through the early 1910s, trips to Italy and France lightened his palette somewhat; additionally, he broke away from figurative depictions, choosing instead to focus on landscape and architectural subjects. His interest in reviving printmaking as a fine art was shared by leading British and American artists of the time, including James McNeil Whistler. Cameron became a member of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, later known as The International, an anti-Royal Academy, non-nationalistic association of artists  founded by Whistler, Francis Howard, and James Guthrie in 1897. He exhibited regularly with the society from 1898 into the early 1910s, and became himself a highly successful etcher whose works were highly collectable during the Etching Revival. Exhibitions took him throughout the Britain and abroad.

In 1917 he was commissioned by the Canadian Government to paint the war in France, producing a series of images for the Hall of Remembrance. In 1924 he was knighted and was elected Trustee of the Tate Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery from 1921 to 1927. He was given title of King's Painter and Limner in 1933. In his lifetime, Cameron produced over 500 prints, primarily etchings and drypoints. They can ba found in the collections of the Tate Gallery, the British Museum, the National Gallery of Scotland, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Cameron died in Perth in 1945.