James William Giles (1801-1870)

Giles was a painter and lithographer born in Glasgow , the son of a designer at the local calico. The family moved to Aberdeen around 1805 where his father worked in a printing factory at Aberdeen and was an artist of some repute. His father’s early death threw his son at an early age upon his own resources and at 13 he maintained himself, his mother and sister by painting, and before he was 20 was teaching private classes in Aberdeen. At 21 he married a widow Clementina Farquharson. He then became a member of the Royal Scottish Academy and elected to the council of the Spalding Club.

He first exhibited at the “Royal Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts in Scotland”, and in 1829 became an academician of the Royal Scottish Academy, and contributed numerous works to its exhibitions from that time until near the close of his career. He also exhibited frequently at the British Institution in London, and occasionally at the Royal Academy and the Society of British Artists.

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