Scottish painter who worked mainly in Edinburgh, though he was a pupil and assistant in Ramsay's London studio 1774–8, and in 1782–4 he visited Italy. There he became interested in landscape painting, which eventually took over from portraiture as his main concern. In his landscapes he blended classical elements stemming from Claude with naturalistic observation and became the founder of the Scottish landscape tradition, influencing many younger painters. One of his most famous works, however, is the portrait of his friend, the poet Robert Burns. His interest in landscape painting stimulated his involvement with landscaping projects, including the layout of the grounds of Inveraray Castle. He was also an accomplished engineer, designing and building several bridges, and an influential teacher, inspiring many younger artists including his own children, including his six daughters.