Robert Buchan Nisbet

Robert Buchan Nisbet RSA, RSW (Scottish) 1857 – 1942
Sheep Grazing, watercolor, signed initials l/l, 6.5″x11.75″ sight, 10″ x 15.25″ frame

Sheep Grazing, watercolor, signed initials.
Click to enlarge.
Sheep Grazing, watercolor, signed initials.
Click to enlarge.

Estimate: $450. NFS.

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Very good condition; it is in a good frame (close framed under a linen slip) but would be enhanced by reframing with a matt and narrow molding. The painting was acquired from a Scottish collector.

Robert Buchan Nisbet RSA RSW (1857-1942) was born in Edinburgh, the son of a house painter, he worked at first in a shipping office before turning to art around 1880. he joined his older brother, also a well listed artist, Pollok Sinclair Nisbet, in Venice c. 1881 before enrolling at the RSA schools 1882-1885. He later studied in Paris under Bouguereau. For a short period he painted in oil, but soon gave this up to paint solely in watercolour, in which he was influenced by the broad styles of de Wint and Cox. He was elected to the Royal Scottish Society of painters in watercolour in 1887 and became a full member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1902. In The Dictionary of Scottish Painters, Halsby and Harris submit that “his best works are his smaller landscapes in which he achieved rich, sonorous tones and great sense of light.” Halsby likens Nisbet’s work to that of the Borders artist Tom Scott who was also a fantastic watercolourist.

For a more comprehensive biography, visit

Note: In 1970, I visited the achieves of the Kelvingrove Gallery and Museum in Glasgow to view watercolors by Robert Buchan Nisbet. The curator shared a box of unframed watercolors by Nisbet, one of which was similar to the painting featured here. It, too, was initialed by the artist who’s work, like de Wint, is “signed all over”.

The Haymaker – Watercolor
Near the Close of an Autumn Day – Oil on canvas, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums
Pastoral scene Scottish Borders – Watercolor
A West Coast landscaoe – Oil on canvas
Landscape – Watercolor, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Landscape with Hail Cloud c. 1893 – Watercolor, RSA Diploma Collection


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