Alexander Hamilton Scott studied at Paisley School of Art and went on to become an architect working for several firms including Robert Wemyss of Glasgow, James Archibald Morris of Ayr, D Barker of Perth, and William Baillie of Glasgow. He was appointed architect to the Caledonian Railway Company and also worked for Babtie, Shaw & Morton. For much of this period in Glasgow he continued to study painting at the Glasgow & West of Scotland Technical College and Glasgow School of Art 1897-1900 and again in 1902-03. His paintings reflect strong Scottish Colourist influences and are mostly dramatic landscapes.
The painting presented here is the earliest known by the painter and possibly represents a self portrait evident in the direct stare to the viewer and the confident and relaxed posture holding a cigarette; the works that have survived by him are invariably landscapes and possibly this therefore was a one off endeavour. Also it demonstrates a perception of character and a certain intensity of approach that suggests a strong purpose to the commission, as if to make a statement. Finished no doubt when he was studying at the Glasgow School of Art the spontaneous and vibrant brushwork and bold application of paint create an arresting image.
His paintings are difficult to find and few have appeared at auction but a landscape sold at Sotheby’s Gleneagles, 29th August 2007 lot 111, (£6240) and McTear’s Scottish Pictures, 5th September 2013 lot 1719 (£2600).