August 26, 2012

From the Highlands

Somehow, I stumbled on the National Galleries Scotland website. In addition to a well chosen and rich collection, the gallery features local talent. Admittedly my knowledge of Scotland's art and artists is lacking but I was instantly taken with the paintings, the sort of paintings that would be easy to live with, reminiscent of the French artists, but more understated.

One of the ‘Scottish Colourists’ is John Duncan Fergusson. The street scene is, well, as street scene. But it is restful to look at even if not completely unique.

John Duncan Fergusson: Rue St. Jaques from National Galleries of Scotland

Another Scottish Colourist - and a friend of John Duncan Fergusson's - is Samuel John Peploe. The flat surfaces reminded me of Cezanne but more sober with grays and blues.

Iona Landscape Rocks Samuel John Peploe
Iona Landscape: Rocks. Samuel John Peploe
 Then there is this still life by William York MacGregor, one of the Glasgow Boys. The bounty is charming and very much reminds me of the modern day farm stand. X-rays reveal that the artist originally painted a girl next to the table of produce but then thought better of it and covered her up. Whatever his reasons, the painting is better for it.

The Vegetable Stall William York MacGregor Glasgow Boys
The Vegetable Stall, William York MacGregor
Lastly a more modern piece, a portrait that caught my eye with its movement and color choices. Learning that the subject is theoretical physicist Peter Higgs (yes, the elusive particle is named for him), made the piece even more intriguing.

Peter Higgs Portrait by Lucinda Mackay
Peter Higgs by Lucinda Mackay
 All the photos are from National Gallery Scotland website. They have comprehensive background on Scottish art (if not Scotland's National Gallery than who?).

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