Throughout his career Paton kept notebooks documenting details of his paintings. The first of these records that, in accordance with the Pre-Raphaelite precept of uncompromising truth obtained by working from nature alone, Craigmillar Castle was "Painted on the spot in May 1861. The cattle were added in the studio from sketches made at Craigmillar ... sold for £50."
Oil on canvas
54 × 91.4 cm
84 × 119 cm
Signed and dated bottom left
Waller Hugh Paton RSA RSW, 1828-1895
Paton was born in Dunfermline, Fife, the brother of the painter Sir Joseph Noel Paton and the sculptress Amelia Hill. He studied briefly and with John Adam Houston, but was largely self-taught; the art theories of John Ruskin and of the Pre-Raphaelites greatly influenced him. A prolific artist, he concentrated almost exclusively on landscape in oil and watercolour. Nearly all his landscapes are Scottish, although he visited the English Lake District several times.