Artist. Born in East Linton (East Lothian), the son of a grocer, Melville trained at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh before travelling to Paris in 1878, the first of several trips abroad. He began painting in watercolour and became influential within the groups of artists known as the 'Glasgow Boys', which included William MacGregor (1855 - 1923), James Guthrie (1859 - 1930) and Joseph Crawhall (1861 - 1913). The group later widened to include, amongst others, George Henry (1858 - 1943) and John Lavery (1856 - 1941).
Melville spent two years in the Middle East (1881-3) and Spain (1892), he became known for his numerous watercolour scenes of far-flung places. Although based in London from the late 1880s, he visited Edinburgh regularly and was one of the most important Scottish artists of his time. He also took a studio for a time at Cambuskenneth (Stirling).
Melville died of typhoid in 1904, but examples of his work can be seen in the National Gallery of Scotland and in the Victoria and Albert Museum (London).