Alexander Nasmyth

Alexander Naismith

1758 (Edinburgh) – 1840 (Edinburgh)

A noted portrait and landscape painter, Nasmyth also invented the bow-and-string arch and compression riveting. As a 16-year-old he was spotted by Ramsay and went to London as his apprentice (reproducing Ramsay’s royal portraits). He and his great friend and walking companion Burns were among the group on board the first-ever steam-driven boat. Raeburn was a close friend, Playfair another fellow-walker, Brewster a regular evening visitor, and Somerville among his many female students. He was visited by the elderly Watt, had illustrations commissioned by Scott, and collaborated on some bridges with Telford