One of the most influential Scottish painters, Robert Scott Lauder was a visionary whose style and artistic presence dominated late 19th century artistic circles. After training in Scotland and later working in London, Lauder spent five years in Italy and returned to London in 1838, where he would paint pictures based on the works of Sir Walter Scott. In 1852, Lauder returned to Edinburgh where he became the Director of the Trustees’ Academy and taught such acclaimed artists as Sir William Quiller Orchardson, John Pettie, William McTaggart, Robert Herdman, George Paul Chalmers, and Peter Graham.
Christ Teacheth Humility (1847) is largely considered one of Lauder’s most important works and is of monumental size. It suggests influence by Sir David Wilkie’s Knox Dispensing the Sacrament at Calder House, and some awareness of Rembrandt’s etching The Hundred Guilder Print. It was presented to the National Gallery in 1897 by the Royal Association for the Promotion of Fine Arts (RAPFAS).
In 2018, American Friends of British Art approved a grant in excess of $5,000 toward the cleaning and restoration of Lauder’s painting, Christ Teacheth Humility.