William Ewart Lockhart RSA (Scottish 1846-1900): Portrait of Mary Polson (1832-1911), oil on canvas ...
William Ewart Lockhart RSA (Scottish 1846-1900): Portrait of Mary Polson (1832-1911), oil on canvas signed and indistinctly dated 126cm x 101cm
Notes: Mary was the wife of John Polson, of Paisley and Castle Levan, who discovered and patented a method for producing corn flour, transforming the fortunes of his father’s muslin manufacturing plant in Paisley. William Ewart Lockhart was a family friend of the Polsons, and painted John Polson’s portrait in 1893. In 1887, the couple's daughter, Mary Alice Polson, married Archibald Corbett, then the Liberal Unionist MP for Glasgow Tradeston. The pair purchased the Rowallan Estate in Ayrshire in 1901, donating their previous home at Rouken Glen as a public park to the citizens of Glasgow. Upon his retirement from the House of Commons in 1911, Corbett was granted the Barony of Rowallan, becoming 1st Baron Rowallan.
Mary was made an Honorary Burgess of Paisley at the Clark Halls and was presented with a parchment and casket by a Mr MacKean on behalf of the Town Council. She also contributed funds for the erection of a nurses’ home, Paisley Infirmary, and Thomas Shanks Memorial Park in Johnstone, named after her brother, Colonel Thomas Shanks.
Lockhart studied at the Royal Scottish Academy from the age of thirteen in 1860, and by 1861 he was submitting work to its Annual Exhibition. He exhibited annually at the RSA for the remainder of his life, with the exception of 1864 when he went to Australia to improve his health, and 1889/90, when completing a royal commission celebrating the 1887 Jubilee. Lockhart is most renowned for his commissioned portraits, though he also painted scenes of Spanish life following several visits to the country.