Archibald Thorburn

Born: 1860
Place of Birth: Lasswade, Midlothian
Died: 1935

Archibald Thorburn  (1860-1935) was taught to paint by his father and he first exhibited at the RSA age ten. During the 1880s he produced a number of illustrations for books including 268 of the 421 plates in Lord Lilford of Northampton's Coloured Figures of the Birds of the British Islands (1888).  He continued to illustrate books and his British Birds, which first appeared in 1915-16, met with huge popularity.

Thorburn settled in London in 1885, returning each year to Scotland to draw, working these drawings up in his studio to full-scale watercolours.  He rarely worked in oil, preferring the delicacy of watercolour. Thornburn was good at composing animal and bird pictures, and his background landscapes were accurately and freely drawn.  Although he was best known for his birds, he also painted deer and other Highland animals.