Jemima Blackburn

(Jemima Wedderburn)

1823 - 1909

Artist. Born in Edinburgh, the daughter of James Wedderburn, a Solicitor-General for Scotland, but her father died before she was born. Her mother was an aunt of mathematician and physicist James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79). She married Hugh Blackburn (1823 - 1909), who held the Chair of Mathematics at the University of Glasgow, and they built a second home at Roshven on the southern shore of Loch Ailort, having bought the estate here in 1854. Here she was able to paint fine landscapes, wildlife and her family. She also travelled widely, including Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.

Blackburn was described as "the best artist I know" by John Ruskin (1819 - 1900) and was admired by Sir Edwin Landseer (1802-73). She was also regarded as a leading illustrator of her time, with the quality of her bird engravings regarded as equal to those of John James Audubon (1785 - 1851). She was also noted for her stained glass, with examples of her work in the Blackadder Aisle of Glasgow Cathedral and St. Finan's Church in Kinlochmoidart.

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