MANSON, GEORGE (1850–1876), Scottish water-colour painter, was born in Edinburgh on the 3rd of December 1850. When about fifteen he was apprenticed as a woodcutter with W. & R. Chambers, with whom he remained for over five years, diligently employing all his spare time in the study and practice of art, and producing in his morning and evening hours water-colours of much delicacy and beauty. In 1871 he devoted himself exclusively to painting. His subjects were derived from humble Scottish life—especially child-life, varied occasionally by portraiture, by landscape, and by views of picturesque architecture. In 1873 he visited Normandy, Belgium and Holland; in the following year he spent several months in Sark; and in 1875 he resided at St Lô, and in Paris, where he mastered the processes of etching. Meanwhile in his water-colour work he had been adding more of breadth and power to the tenderness and richness of colour which distinguished his early pictures, and he was planning more complex and important subjects. But his health had been gradually failing, and he was ordered to Lympstone in Devonshire, where he died on the 27th of February 1876.
A volume of photographs from his water-colours and sketches, with a memoir by J. M. Gray, was published in 1880. For an account of Manson’s technical method as a wood engraver see P. G. Hamerton’s Graphic Arts, p. 311.