David Roberts RA (1796-1864). Painter of topographical and architectural subjects. Son of a shoemaker. Born at Stockbridge near Edinburgh. Apprenticed to a house painter for seven years and later joined a travelling circus as a painter of scenery touring the north of England. In 1819 entered as a student at the Trustees' Academy Edinburgh under Andrew Wilson and remained for one week only. Later painted scenery for the Edinburgh Pantheon and Theatre Royal Glasgow. Moved to London in 1822 to complete work as a scene painter to the Drury Lane Theatre where he worked with Clarkson Stanfield. First Vice President of the Society of British Artists, 1823 and President in 1830. Honorary member of the Royal Scottish Academy 1829. Travelled widely; France 1831; Spain and Tangier 1832-3. Visited Egypt, the Holy Land and Syria 1838-9, and in 1851 and 1853 toured Italy. Elected ARA 1838, and RA, 1841. Commissioner for the Great Exhibition 1851. In 1858 presented with the freedom of the city of Edinburgh. Publications include: Picturesque Sketches in Spain during the Years 1832 and 1833, Views in the Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia, 1842-49. Ruskin was influenced by David Robert's draughtmanship (see Ruskin and Roberts).