A Portrait of Scotland BBC4 Friday 11 September 12:40am - 2:10am (VIDEO Plus+: 36516966)
Repeat, Subtitled, Widescreen, Deaf-signed
Actor Peter Capaldi explores the story of Scotland's art, examining the paintings and artists that have made Scottish art special. Capaldi sketches some of the most important Scottish portraits, and by focusing on the tradition of portraiture that goes back 500 years, he shows how Scotland's art has reflected the changing face of the nation.
Oil on canvas; 91.50 x 76.20 cm
National Galleries of Scotland
Capaldi introduced the programme by indicating that the importance of portraiture in Scottish art stems from the fact that on the 11th May 1559, John Knox, leader of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, outlawed the making of all religious images - and the market for religious paintings immediately died.
Portraiture, he suggested became the perfect art form for a new way of thinking - which emphasised the importance of the individual.
A lot of the works he introduced to those of us watching the programme now live in the Scottish national portrait Gallery which as the very first purpose built portrait gallery in the world.
- George Jamesone - works in the National Galleries of Scotland - is renowned as the founder of Scottish art and was the firts major Scottish painter
- Allan Ramsay (1713-1784) - works in the National Galleries of Scotland. He has a belief that art should be capable of being understood by anybody. He had a sophisticated painterly style, was regarded as an intellectual painter and was internationally renowned for the quality of his portraits. He made a living as Principal Painter in Ordinary to the King (1761–1784) and doing what were known as "Grand Tourists Portraits". The portraits of his two wives were discussed in the programme.
- Gavin Hamilton (Scottish, 1723 - 1798) - Explored thinking about the origina sof society and went back to homer for inspiration. Worked in the Neo Classical style. Works in the National Galleries of Scotland;
- Sir David Wilkie (Scottish, 1785 - 1841) - Part of the Scottish Tradition of Portraiture which developed during the period of Enlightement. Worked when works in the National Galleries of Scotland; Gracefield Permanent Collection
- David Allan (Scottish, 1744 - 1796) - works in the National Galleries of Scotland;
- Thomas Faed (Scottish, 1826 - 1900) - He painted The Last of the Clan, which highlighted the decline of the Highland society. The programme suggests he leaned towards the sentimental and chocolate box end of art. Work in the National Galleries of Scotland; Gracefield Permanent Collection
- Horatio McCulloch (Scottish, 1805 - 1867) - Essentially and artist who painted landscapes - both urban and rural - suggested to be stereotypical. works in the National Galleries of Scotland; Gracefield Permanent Collection
- Sir James Guthrie (Scottish, 1859 - 1930) - a painter of Scottish realism and well known for his portraiture. He "showed courage in losing the detail". President of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1902. Works in the National Galleries of Scotland; Gracefield Permanent Collection
- the Glasgow Boys
The Glasgow Boys introduced forms of Impressionism to Scotland in the 1880s and 1890s, developing their own individual interpretations of it, often highly coloured. As well as painting in Glasgow and its environs they sought scenes of rural life and character in other parts of Scotland. Principal members of the group included Joseph Crawhall, Sir James Guthrie, George Henry, EA Hornel, Sir John Lavery and EA Walton.
Tate Glossary - The Glasgow School
- the Scottish Colourists - who brough vivid colour to Scottish Art - see yesterday's post Scottish artists - The Scottish Colourists. One of JD Ferguson's portraits of a lady in a hat is studied and it's suggested that he displays a boldness with line and colour and that his work is almost abstract
- Joan Eardley (English / Scottish, 1921 - 1963) - She had a preference for everyday subjects and local street children and the poverty in which they lived were her preferred subjects. Latterly her favourite subjects were the village where she lived and the sea, particularly in stormy weather. Works in the National Galleries of Scotland; Gracefield Permanent Collection
- John Bellany - works in the National Galleries of Scotland;
- John Byrne (interviewed in the programme) - He has worked as an artist, playwright and theatre designer and uses a variety of styles and techniques. Works in the National Galleries of Scotland; self portraits; portraits
- Ken Currie - a socially aware painter influenced by industrial Glasgow and political and humanitarian events in Eastern Europe. Member of Yong Glasgow Artists. Works in the National Galleries of Scotland; Gracefield Permanent Collection
- Stephen Campbell - the leading figure of a group of Scottish figurative painters who began to exhibit their work in the early 1980s. He died on 15 August 2007. Works in the National Galleries of Scotland;
- Peter Howson (Scottish, born 1958) (interviewed in the programme) - an English artist who has lived in Glasgow/Scotland since the age of 4. He paints dossers, down-and-ours, misfits and the hard men of Glasgown - what has been termed 'the Glasgow underclass'. I well remember the first time I saw his work - his figures seemed to be massive and cut out of granite. Works in the National Galleries of Scotland; Gracefield Permanent Collection
- Calum Colvin (Scottish, born 1961) - he has used digital technology to generate images that often ask uneasy questions about what makes one truly Scottish. Works in the National Galleries of Scotland; Gracefield Permanent Collection
- Adrian Wiszniewski (Scottish, born 1958) - Glasgow born and studied at Glasgow School of Art. Led a revival of figurative painting in Scottish art during the 1980s. Works in the National Galleries of Scotland. Plus more works from the websites of the Gracefield Permanent Collection; the Open eye Gallery
- Douglas Gordon - one of the most successful of contemporary Scottish artists, winning prestigious art prizes in Europe and the United States, including the Turner Prize in 1996. Works in the National Galleries of Scotland
I know I didn't manage to write down every name - however it did become very clear while watching that it's also a VERY masculine list and frankly Scotland also produces an awful lot of very good women painters - such as Anne Redpath 1895 -1965, Elizabeth Blackadder, Barbara Rae, Alison Watt (interviewed in the programme). The latter features in the programe commenting on the brushwork and style of Raeburn.