Alexander’s studies of birds, animals and plants combine superb drawing and subtle colour; he also executed a number of landscapes. He worked almost exclusively in watercolour, often using grey or buff course packing paper, as well as linen and silk.
Watercolour on paper
122 × 146 cm
Signed and dated
Edwin John Alexander RSA RWS RSW, 1870-1926
Like his father, Robert Alexander, Edwin Alexander was a fine animal painter. At seventeen he accompanied his father, Joseph Crawhall and Pollock Nisbet on a visit to Morocco; Crawhall was to be a strong influence on his art. Alexander studied in Edinburgh, and in Paris under the animal sculptor Emmanuel Frémiet. Between 1892 and 1896 he made two extended visits to Egypt with the artist Erskine E. Nicol Jnr. He settled in Inveresk, where he maintained a menagerie of animals and birds, which he used as models. Later, he moved to Musselburgh.