The Court of the Lord Lyon
Scotland’s Heraldic Authority

Court Artists and Calligraphers

It is not always realised that a Grant of Arms is not exactly a picture but a blazon - a verbal description of a picture. The painting of a coat of arms which appears on a Grant or Matriculation is an exemplification. This gives the artist considerable leeway as to how to paint it and many armigers seek a wide range of interpretations of their arms from artists all over the world. The picture, or emblazonment of arms in the left margin of Scottish Letters Patent as well as the calligraphy is carried out by one of the team of highly-skilled freelance artists in the Lyon Office under the direction of the Herald Painter. While it would be too much to say that there is a house style, there is no doubt that each generation of Lyon Office painters has shown more characteristics in common with each other than with other periods and we are fortunate at the moment in having some of the highest standards of heraldic painting in the history of the Lyon Office. For comparison, here are some historical paintings of Scottish coats of arms:          Naysmith of Posso 1672           Wood of Gatton Park 1809               Haig & Haig Ltd 1922                   Lord Thomson of Fleet 1968 The Herald Painter is currently Mrs Yvonne Holton, who is also Dingwall Pursuivant of Arms.   In addition to producing Grants of Arms, Extracts of Matriculation and many other commissions and documents for the Lyon Office and other government bodies, the artists and calligraphers in the Herald Painter’s team all take private commissions and something of the range of their fine work can be seen on their personal websites by clicking the appropriate image below:

    

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The Herald Painter and the other artists teaching heraldic art to Glasgow schoolchildren

          Yvonne Holton                                     Maggie Spalding                                     Clare McCrory

           David Allan                                           Annette Reed                                           Garry Millie