The painter that David Wilkie referred to as "the founder of the landscape painting school of Scotland" died on April 10, 1840. Alexander Nasmith began his career as an artist through apprenticing for house decorator James Cummyng, and later under portraitist Allan Ramsey. Nasmith later trained other painters, including John Thomson and possibly John Ruskin's father.
Nasmith enjoyed a fair amount of success as a portrait painter. The Scottish National Gallery owns eight Nasmith paintings, two of which are portraits of his friend Robert Burns. But is was more for his skill in landscape painting that Walter Scott commissioned Nasmith to provide vignette engravings for the 1821 edition of the Waverley Novels. Nasmith contributed more than 60 illustrations to Scott's works.