(b Haddington, Lothian, 1759; d London, July 22, 1839).
Scottish painter, active in Canada. His artistic training began in Edinburgh and continued under Paul Sandby at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, London. In 1792 Heriot was posted to the garrison at Quebec as an ordnance clerk. A career in the colonial service afforded him the opportunity to travel and paint widely in Upper and Lower Canada, especially after he was appointed Deputy Postmaster General of British North America in 1800.
Heriot’s sketchbooks (Montreal, McGill U., McCord Mus.) reveal a keen topographical sense balanced by a poetic use of idealization. His large ‘finished’ watercolours, such as Lake St Charles near Quebec (c. 1801; Ottawa, N.G.), are often masterpieces of the genre. This example of the picturesque landscape style is generalized to the extent that it looks like a European view. Many of Heriot’s less formal sketches, on the other hand, reflect the specificity of the Canadian landscape and culture and are valued as both aesthetic and historical artefacts....