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In The Artists' FootstepsThe Soldier's Return by John Faed

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John Faed

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The Soldier's Return

Artist: John Faed
Title: The Soldier's Return
Date: 1856
Medium: Oil on canvas

12.5 by 14.5 inches.

The successful publication of The Cotter's Saturday Night illustrated by John Faed led to commissions to illustrate Robert Burn's Tam O' Shanter and The Soldier's Return. In all these works John Faed relied heavily on the people and places of his native Gatehouse to illustrate his paintings. The work shown here differs somewhat from the engraved work suggesting that it was painted independently of the published work. 


This work was on display in the exhibition Five Centuries of Scottish Painting, Kirkcudbright Town Hall, 2006 

Image kindly supplied by Bourne Fine Art.

Gallery: Not Applicable
Location: Gatehouse of Fleet

All Art Works by this Artist

The Wappenschaw

View over Gatehouse

The Trysting Place

The Soldier's Return

The Meeting

Old Mare Maggie

The Horrors of War

His Return from the War

His Recognition of Her

Her Recognition of him, (finale)

The Hero and Heroine

Grandpa Describing the Battle of Blenheim to his Grandchildren

Gatehouse of Fleet


Battle of Blenheim

Annie's Tryst

A Gentle Critic

A Family Meal

John Faed Self portrait

About the Artist

Artist: John Faed
Date of Birth: 1819
Date of Death: 1902
Place of Death: Gatehouse of fleet

Residence in Dumfries & Galloway:
Born at Barlay Mill, Gatehouse of Fleet.  Died at Ardmore, Gatehouse of Fleet, which he built in 1867.  Divided his time between Gatehouse and London before settling permanently at Ardmore 1880.

Trustees Academy, Edinburgh, although largely self taught.

Professional Bodies:
ARSA 1847; RSA 1851

Exhibited At:
Royal Academy; Royal Scottish Academy; Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts.


Member of the Smashers' Club.  President of the Kirkcudbright Fine Art Association.  Gave encouragement to Hornel and his colleagues.


The Faeds, Mary McKerrow, Edinburgh, 1982. 


Kirkcudbright: one hundred years of an artists' colony, Patrick Bourne, Atelier Books, Edinburgh, 2000.


The Gatehouse Years, David I A Steel, 2002.


Five Centuries of Scottish Painting, Atelier Books, Edinburgh, 2006


Tales of the Kirkcudbright Artists, Haig Gordon, Kirkcudbright 2006


Self portrait provided by Stewartry Museum.


Began to paint miniatures at an early age.  Left for Edinburgh in 1840.  Followed his brother Thomas to London but always longed for Gatehouse of Fleet.  Built a house there in 1867 and settled permanently in 1880.  Illustrated The Cottar's Saturday Night, Tam O' Shanter and The Soldier's Return for the Fine Arts Association.  His self portrait, The Little Seamstress and other works are in the Stewartry Museum, Kirkcudbright.  A Family Meal appears to be one of the works prepared for the Cottar's Saturday Night.  A small View over Gatehouse of Fleet is illustrated in Bourne p23 (see bibliography).  The Pedlar, signed and dated 1874 sold at Christies, Edinburgh, 26/10/06, Sale 7299, lot 112.  A water colour On the Dee South of Castle Douglas, sold by Lyon and Turnbull, sale 182, lot 31, 12 July 2007.  An oil painting Gatehouse of 1886 was sold for £2400 at Bonhams Scottish sale 29/08/2008, lot 1075.  A fine portrait of the 1850s The Sportsman, was sold at Bonhams, Edinburgh, for £13,800 on 21 April 2011, sale 18818, lot 21.