Regarded as one of the most significant artists of the 19th century, Edinburgh-born portrait painter Henry Raeburn created the now iconic work, The Skating Minister, which hangs in the Scottish National Gallery. The painting is said to have inspired the window design of the Scottish Parliament building, situated at the bottom of Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile.
The 19th century also produced a group of artists known as the Glasgow Boys, who had either trained in or had an association with the city. They included Sir James Guthrie, George Henry, E A Hornel, Sir John Lavery, E A Walton and Joseph Crawhall, and their styles featured realism and naturalism, with the use of bold colours. Visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Paisley Museum and the Hunterian Gallery to view some paintings from this inspiring group of artists.
Not to be outdone by their male counterparts, a group of female artists and designers, collectively called the Glasgow Girls, also featured prominently towards the late 19th, early 20th century. Members of this group included sisters Margaret and Frances MacDonald and their husbands, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Herbert MacNair, who were hugely influential in the ‘Glasgow Style’, much of which was based around Art Noveau.
Mackintosh is one of Scotland’s best loved artists and designers and his impact can be seen throughout his home city of Glasgow. From the Glasgow School of Art building, to The Lighthouse, Scotland Street Museum and Queen’s Cross Church, his beautiful linear designs and flower motifs are instantly recognisable.
The Scottish Colourists group of artists, from the 1920s and 30s, were inspired by the landscape and people of Scotland, and this was reflected in their bold, colour paintings. The artists included S J Peploe, J D Fergusson, Leslie Hunter and F C B Cadell and their work can be seen in Aberdeen Art Gallery and the Fergusson Gallery in Perth.
Scotland’s most commercially successful artist of recent times is Fife-born Jack Vettriano, whose distinctive style combines brooding seductive overtones. His best know work. The Singing Butler, sold at auction for £744,000 and his work can be seen on a range of media. Vettriano’s self portrait, The Weight, is on display at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.