Person NameBallantyne; John; artist
ActivityJohn Ballantyne, RSA (1815-1897), artist, was born in Kelso, the son of Alexander Ballantyne (the editor of the Kelso Mail and younger brother of John and James Ballantyne of Ballantyne Press), and brother of R M Ballantyne, author. When John was ten the family moved to Edinburgh where he and his brother began studies at the New Academy. His brother excelled in his classical studies but John wasn't interested in school until he was entered in a drawing school when he was thirteen. He then decided that he wanted to be an artist and at 14 he was sent to the Royal Institution where he gained several prizes. In 1832, at 17, he began studying art in London and after six months gained a place at the Royal Academy, 1833. He gained a Medal from the Society of Arts. In 1835-1836 he studied in Paris and Rome and afterwards exhibited the results of his work in London and Edinburgh.From the age of 21 he was mostly able to support himself through his art and set up in London as a portrait painter. In 1839, Ballantyne exhibited at Edinburgh Royal Academy and was able to establish a home at Abercromby Place, where he lived with his sister Mary. In 1841 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy. Ballantyne was appointed a master in the Trustees School of Design where he had been a student and was a master there for 17 years. With his friends, he formed the Smashers Sketching Club which he was president of for nine years. In 1859 he was appointed an ensign in the voluntary Citizen Rifle Company, he then raised a new company called the 2nd Citizens of which he was captain. He was later asked to take the captaincy of the No1 Company Artists City Artillery.At the end of his tenure as a master at the Trustees School, in 1862, at the age of 47, he, his wife and young family, to renew his career as an artist and was for several years very successful, however in the late 1860s he suffered from eye disease which greatly curtailed his ability to work.
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