James Archer (1823-1904) was a portrait-painter. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. His best-known work includes children and people in costume as its subjects becoming the first Victorian painter to do children's portraits in period costume. He studied at the Trustee's Academy in Edinburgh under Sir William Allan. At Archer painted chalk portraits, but in 1849 he exhibited his first historical picture 'The Last Supper' at the Royal Scottish Academy. His work after that mostly consisted of scenes taken from literature or legends that were popular at the time, such as Shakespeare and King Arthur. In about 1859 he began to paint a series of Arthurian subjects, including 'La Morte d'Arthur' and 'Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere'. James Archer died in 1904 in Haslemere in Surrey, England, survived by his son and three daughters from his marriage to Jane Clerk.