Cochran, William

, a Scotch artist, was born Dec. 12, 1738, at Strathaven in Clydesdale, Having early shewn a genius in design, he was put as a scholar to the academy ofpainting in the college of Glasgow in 1754 | then chiefly under the inspection of those eminent printers Messrs. Robert and Andrew Fonlis. After some time spent there, he went to Italy about the end of 1764, where he studied for five years, mostly at Rome, under the celebrated Mr. Gavin Hamilton; since which time he followed his profession in Glasgow, with honour and advantage to himself, and satisfaction to his friends. In portrait painting of a large size he excelled, and in miniature and other sizes he had great merit; his drawing was correct, and he seldom failed of producing a most striking likeness. In history, some pieces done by him are now in Glasgow, particularly “Daedalus and Icarus,” “Diana and Endymion,” both essay pieces executed at Rome, that would do credit to any pencil; yet, from an unusual modesty and diffidence, he never could be prevailed upon to put his name to his works. A dutiful attachment to an aged mother and other relations fixed him in Glasgow: ambition with him was no ruling passion, nor was he eager after riches; but a natural philanthropic disposition, and an assiduity to please, were conspicuous traits of his character. By permission 1 of the lord provost and magistrates, he was buried in the choir of the cathedral church, where a neat marble is erected to his memory, with this inscription “In memory of Mr. William Cochran, portrait painter in Glasgow, who died October 23, 1785, aged 47 years. The works of his pencil and this marble bear record of an eminent artist, and a virtuous man.1


From the last edition of this Dictionary.