Nasmyth, Alexander (1758-1840), landscape painter, was born in Edinburgh, and came to London, where he studied under the king's painter, Allan Ramsay. He went for a time to Rome, and painted portraits, historical subjects, and landscapes. On his return to Edinburgh he abandoned portraits for landscapes. Patrick (1787-1831), eldest son of the above, was also a painter, and has been called the "English Hobbema" on account of the minuteness of detail in his pictures. James. the youngest son (1808-1890), mechanical engineer. was famous as the inventor of the steam-hammer (q.v.) and other important machines, and made some valuable astronomical discoveries after his retirement from business.