Monday, 21 November 2011

Francis Cadell

Edinburgh artist Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell was quite a character. He had a great sense of humour, was confident, flamboyant and charming, and had a great many friends who adored him. He was homosexual, at a time when it was illegal, and lived life to the full, spending outwith his means and socialising with high society. When times were tough his paintings paid for a roof over his head.
He painted landscapes (most famously of Iona, where he spent a lot of time), portraits, still lifes and my favourites of his works, grand interior spaces. I find it hard to believe that his paintings of the interior rooms in his George Street studio (my favourite; below) and Edinburgh Newtown townhouses were painted in the early 1920s. Some of the interiors look contemporary even by today's standards. He was fascinated with reflective surfaces, carefully placed objects, and liked the composition of a room beyond a room through open doorways.
 Last Thursday my parents were invited to a private viewing of the exhibition at The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, with Alice Strang, the author of F.C.B. Cadell; an emalgamation of all the research undertaken for the exhibition. Sebastian and I tagged along. It was fascinating.
The exhibition is Cadell's first solo show since his death in 1937. I recommend you go along and have a look. It's on till March 18th 2012.
image via here

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