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Mary Rose Hill Burton (1857 – 1900)

“Cherry Blossom, Japan”

Watercolour. Signed with initials

8” x 10 3/8” (205mm x 263mm)                  

Overall framed size 15 7/8” x 17 ¾” (405mm x 452mm)                                                                         IMAGE          IMAGE



Mary Rose Hill Burton was educated with the support of the Edinburgh Association for the University Education of Women and pursued further art studies in Munich and Paris under the instruction of Gustave Courtois and Raphael Collins.  Her paintings of still life, landscapes and street scenes were exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy and the Society of Scottish Artists.  She was a founder of the Edinburgh Ladies Art Club 1889.  In 1895 and 1896 she had two solo exhibitions in London to showcase works from her travels in Japan, painted whilst visiting her older brother W.K. Burton.  She also painted murals, most notably a series of panels depicting the scenes,  in the dining room of St. Giles’s House, Ramsay Garden, the property of socialist Patrick Geddes.  She also taught a course in painting and decoration at the Old Edinburgh School of Art.  She was active in the Resistance against the North British Aluminium Companies to locate a smelting plant at the scenic Falls of Foyers near her residence in the highlands. She made many drawings and paintings of the Falls before the plant was built to capture the landscape before it was lost.  She was born in Edinburgh into a well educated and prominent family.  Her father was Historian John Hill Burton and her grandfather was Legal Scholar Cosmo Innes.  Her uncle was Robert Finlay who served as Lord Chancellor of Great Britain and her aunt Mary Burton was the first female Director of the Watt Institution and School of Arts in Edinburgh.  Her mother Catherine Innes Burton had studied sculpture before working as a nurse in the Crimean War and was an officer in the Edinburgh Ladies Educational Association.  Her family were also friends with the young Arthur Conan Doyle.  She died in 1900 while travelling and working in Rome.