THOUGH a Glasgow man by upbringing, Mr. MacKellar was born at Inveraray in 1852, and spent the first nine months of his life in the quiet capital of Argyll. At Milton Parish School and the Glasgow Institution, where he was educated, he attended the drawing classes. From the age of eight he had shewn an aptitude for drawing, and he earned his first artistic emoluments by occasionally selling the sketch of a river steamer for the munificent sum of sixpence. At the age of fourteen he lost both his parents, and though helped to some extent during the next two years by his elder brother, he had afterwards to rely entirely upon his own exertions. After six months in a law office, that of Mr.J. W. Alston, he found employment first with Messrs. Alexander Brothers, and afterwards with Mr. John Stuart, as a water-colourist, in the tinting of photographs. At the same time he attended Mr. Greenlees' morning and evening classes at the School of Art, and in 1873 exhibited his first picture at the Glasgow Institute. Two years later he left the photographer's studio, and adopted painting as his profession. As early as 1876 he had a picture hung at the Royal Scottish Academy, but it was not till ten years afterwards that he reached the walls of Burlington House. He soon acquired a reputation for the painting of figure subjects from history, romance and the drama, and pictures like "His Latest Adventure," "Covenanting Times," and "Young Marlowe," early showed his bent and assigned him a position. In 1879, and again in 1880, he spent several months in London, attending Mr. Heatherley's classes, and studying old masters in the galleries and old furniture at South Kensington. He also spent much time in studying old English comedy on the stage, and in pilgrimage to such scenes of old English life as Harldon Hall and Hardwick. Among his more important canvases in recent years were "Henry Morton before Claverhouse at Tillietudlem," "The Pedlar," "Cornered," and "Robert Burns at Loudoun Manse" (where the poet first heard the spinet played), which last proved highly popular at Glasgow Institute in 1904. Besides exhibiting at most of the cities in this country, he showed pictures at Munich, Dresden, Vienna, Prague, and Danzic, where several of his canvases were purchased for both public and private collections. In 1907 his principal picture, "Morning Sunshine," exhibited at the Glaspalast, Munich, was bought by His Royal Highness the Prince Regent of Bavaria, and "The Minuet," a canvas hung at the Glasgow Institute in 1908, was purchased by the Corporation for the City Galleries at Kelvingrove.
    Mr. Mackellar had filled the post of Hon. Secretary, Vice-President, and President of Glasgow Art Club, and several times acted on the Council of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Water Colours and the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine arts. He died at Lochgilphead, 13th August, 1908, having been predeceased by his wife six years earlier.

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