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Paton, Sir Joseph Noel

PATON, SIR JOSEPH NOEL (1821-1901), British painter, was born, on the 13th of December 182 1, in Woolers AUey, Dunfermline, where his father, a fellow of the Scottish Society of Antiquaries, carried on the trade of a damask manufacturer. He showed strong artistic inclinations in early childhood, but had no regular art training, except a brief period of study in the Royal Academy School in 1843. He gained a prize of £200 in the first Westminster Hall competition, in 1845, for his cartoon " The Spirit of ReUgion," and in the foUowing year he exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy his " Quarrel of Oberon and Titania." A companion fairy picture, " The Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania " went to Westminster Hall in 1847, and for it and his picture of " Christ bearing the Cross " he was awarded a prize of £300 by the Fine Arts Commissioners. The two Oberon pictures are in the National Gallery of Scotland, where they have long been a centre of attraction. His first exhibited picture, " Ruth Gleaning," appeared at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1844. He began to contribute to the Royal Academy of London in 1856. Throughout his career his preference was for allegorical, fairy and religious subjects. Among his most famous pictures are " The Pursuit of Pleasure " (1855), " Mors Janua Vitae " (1866), " Oskold and the Elle-maids " (1874), and " In Die Malo " (1882). Sir Noel Paton also produced a certain amount of sculpture, more notable for design than for searching execution. He was elected an associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1847, and a fuU member in 1850; he was appointed Queen's Limner for Scotland in 1866, and received knighthood in 1867. In 1878 the University of Edinburgh conferred upon him the degree of LL.D. He was a poet of distinct merit, as his Poems by a Painter (1861) and Spindrift (1867) pleasantly exemphfied. He was also well known as an antiquary, his hobby, indeed, being the collection of arms and armour. Sir Noel died in Edinburgh on the 26th of December igoi. His eldest son, Diarmid Noel Paton (b. 1859), became regius professor of physiology in Glasgow in 1906; and another son, Frederick Noel Paton (b. 1861), became in 1905 director of commercial intelligence to the government of India.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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