JOHNSTON, Alexander

1815 - 1891

Alexander Johnston

Born at Edinburgh in 1815, son of Robert Johnston, an architect, and his wife Elizabeth née Jackson. In 1830 he worked with an Edinburgh seal-engraver and was a student in the Trustees' Academy, Edinburgh 1831-1834. With an introduction to Sir David Wilkie (1785-1844) he travelled to London and in 1836 studied at the Royal Academy Schools under William Hilton (1786-1839). Whilst living at Edinburgh, Johnston had taken up portrait-painting bringing with him to London some portraits of Dr Morison's family, which he exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1836 and 1837 where, in 1838, he exhibited his first subject picture, 'The Mother's Prayer'. In 1836, from 11 Buckingham Street, Portland Place, London, sent two works to the Royal Society of British Artists 'The Little Wanderer' and 'The Widow' and was a regular exhibitor until 1885, he also exhibited at the Suffolk Fine Arts Association [q.v.] at Ipswich in 1850 'The Trysting Tree'. He married at St Pancras, London on 22 August 1842, Emily Brown and in 1861 was a 46 year old 'artist painter' living at 43 Upper Gower Street, St Pancras with his 36 year old wife Emily and their children Alexander Guthrie 17, Francis Cecil 15, Cecilia 10, Arthur 8, Emily Margaret 6, Andrew I. 4 and Adrian H. 2, all born in London and by 1871 they had moved to Fitzroy Street, St Pancras when he gave his age as 57. Johnston died after a short illness, at 21 Carlingford Road, Hampstead on 2 February 1891.






Works by This Painter