Joseph Noel Paton (1821 - 1902). Sir Joseph Noel Paton FRSA, LL. D. was a Scottish artist. He was born in Wooer's Alley, Dunfermline, Fife, to Joseph Neil Paton and Catherine MacDiarmid, damask designers and weavers in the town. He continued the family trade for a short time. He had strong artistic inclinations however and studied briefly at the Royal Academy, London in 1843. He is the brother of Amelia Robertson Hill and Walter Hugh Paton. He also had one brother, Archibald, and two sisters, Catherine and Alexia, who all died in childhood. Sir Joseph erected a monument on the grave of his parents and dead siblings in later life, the grave was probably originally unmarked. It lies on the north side of Dunfermline Abbey and is a distinctive red granite Celtic cross amongst other smaller sandstone He painted in the Pre-Raphaelite style and became a painter of historical, fairy, allegorical and religious subjects. Together with Daniel Maclise, Paton was a folklore expert, and his knowledge of Celtic legends and Scottish folklore is reflected in his paintings. The first picture to be shown to the public was 'Ruth Gleaning' which was shown at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1844. He won a number of prizes for his work including for two of his most famous works The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania and The Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania, both of which are available to public view at the National Gallery of Scotland. Made an associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1847 and a fellow in 1850. In 1858, he married Margaret Gourlay Ferrier and had seven children, the eldest being Diarmid Noel Paton who became a regius professor of physiology in Glasgow in 1906. His second son Frederick Noel Paton was to become director of commercial intelligence to the government of India. In 1865, he was appointed Queen's Limner for Scotland. He also published two volumes of poetry and produced a number of sculptures. Two years later he received the knighthood and in 1878 was conferred the degree LL.D by the University of Edinburgh. Paton was a well known antiquary, whose specialty was arms and armour. He died in Edinburgh in 1901, and is buried in Dean Cemetery. His daughter, Hamilton Lora, is buried 10m to his east with her husband, Robert Scott Moncrieff.
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