Born in Aberdeen in 1890, Souter attended Gray's School of Art, Aberdeen and The Alan Fraser School of Art, Arbroath. His evident talent won him a travelling scholarship to Europe. He first exhibited at the RA in 1914 and continued to show most years until 1952 when he returned to Aberdeen from London. During WW1 he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps. Shortly after the end of the war he married and moved to London. Caricatures, of which we have a group of eleven, were part of his output but not always thought as befitting his talent by his wife, Christian, who prevented the sale of work to Punch.
Portraiture was a good source of income and amongst his more famous sitters were Ivor Novello and Fay Compton. He had an easy rapport with his sitters which is evident in the intimate studies included in this exhibition. The earliest picture in the show was an exquisitely drawn self portrait. Souter would only have been 22 years old at the time. Just returned from his travels on the continent and only a couple of years away from the WW1 draft.