McLachlan, Thomas Hope (DNB01)
McLACHLAN, THOMAS HOPE (1845–1897), landscape painter, the second son of Thomas McLachlan, banker, and his wife Jane Hope, was born at Carbury Hall, Darlington, on 16 March 1845. Educated at Merchiston Castle school, Edinburgh, and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1868, and was bracketed first in the moral science tripos, he entered Lincoln's Inn on 27 Oct. 1865, and was called to the bar on 17 Nov. 1868. For some years he practised in the court of chancery, but he did not care for the work and had few briefs. His desire was to be a painter, and, encouraged by John Pettie [q. v.] and others who believed in his gifts, he, in 1878, gave up law and took to art. He had no academic training to begin with, and the short time he spent in the studio of Carolus Duran at a later date was of little account; but he studied the early English landscape painters, and later was considerably influenced by the work of the French romanticists and Cecil Gordon Lawson [q. v.] His work was always individual and interesting, for he had a poetic apprehension of nature, and was peculiarly sensitive to grave and impressive emotions which belong to twilight, night, and solitude. And while his technique was somewhat faulty, he designed with dignity and was a refined and powerful colourist.
He exhibited at the Academy and the Grosvenor, and later at the New Gallery and the Institute of Painters in Oil-colours, of which he was a member; but it was not until 1896, when he became associated with five other painters in the 'Landscape Exhibition' at the Dudley Gallery, that the beauty of his work, there seen more in a mass and in more congenial surroundings, drew the attention it deserved. But he lived to share in only another exhibition, for on 1 April 1897 he died at Weybridge. In June of that year a collection of his pictures was brought together in the studios of his friends, Mr. Leslie Thomson and Mr. R. W. Allan, and shortly afterwards some of his admirers presented a characteristic work, 'Ships that pass in the Night,' to the National Gallery.
In 1870 he married Jean, youngest daughter of William Stow Stowell of Faverdale, who with the son and daughter of the marriage survived him. A portrait drawn in red chalk by E. R. Hughes has been reproduced, a small portrait is worked into a headpiece in the 'Magazine of Art' (1895), and in the 'Art Journal' (1897) a photograph is reproduced.[Private information; Foster's Men at the Bar, 1885; Preface to Catalogue of Memorial Exhibition by Selwyn Image; Magazine of Art, 895; Saturday Review, 12 June 1897; Art Journal, May 1897; Exhibition Catalogues; Cat. National Gallery of British Art.