The Story of Scottish Art episode 3: Artist Lachlan Goudie explores how, at the turn of the 19th century, Scotland’s artists challenged the traditions they had inherited and, embracing new ways of seeing and painting from the Continent, revolutionised Scottish art.
From the Glasgow Boys’ intimate rural realism, to Arthur Melville’s brilliantly experimental watercolours; from Hill House, Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s ‘total work of art’, to JD Fergusson’s pioneering Scottish modernism, this generation transformed the way we saw Scotland’s landscape and identity.
The Story of Scottish Art episode 3
Arthur Melville (1855–1904) was a Scottish painter of Orientalist subjects, among others.
Arthur Melville was born in Loanhead-of-Guthrie. The family moved to East Linton, Haddingtonshire (now East Lothian), around the 1860s. He took up painting while working as a grocer’s apprentice and he attended evening art classes in Edinburgh – his biographer (Agnes E. Mackay who was his niece) indicated that he often walked the eight miles there and back. In 1874 he was employed as a bookkeeper in Dalkeith. He became a fulltime student at the Royal Scottish Academy School under John Campbell Noble. He was also influenced by John Robertson Reid. In 1877 he had, at the age of 22, his painting A Cabbage Garden, accepted by the Royal Academy. Melville sold the painting to James Hunter Annandale, a Lasswade paper manufacturer, and this partially financed the artist’s studies in Paris from 1878 to 1880.
in 1878 he travelled to Paris and enrolled at the Atelier Julian (Académie Julian). Here he began to learn about the intricacies of watercolour painting although his niece writes that he spent much time admiring the work of other artists – she mentions Monet’s Les Didons Blancs as an influence with its movement, colour and light. He had met a Scottish artist, Robert Weir Allan, who had introduced him to the Impressionists. He then spent the summer of 1879 in Grez-sur-Loing. At Grez-sur-Loing a number of artists gathered and they were en plain air adherents, many being followers of Jules Bastien-Lepage.
As well as Grez-sur-Loing, Melville visited Granville, Honfleur. He seemed keen to find peasant models who would pose en plein air following in the footsteps of the work of French rural Naturalists. He returned to Edinburgh early in the summer of 1880 and he took a studio in Shandwick Place which he shared with his brother George, a medical student. He only stayed a few months as he intended to return to France and then to travel to the Middle East.
Lachlan Goudie – The Story of Scottish Art episode 3
Lachlan Goudie was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1976, the son of Scottish figurative painter Alexander Goudie. He was educated at the Kelvinside Academy, after which he studied English Literature at Cambridge University. Following this, he was awarded the Levy-Plumb scholarship of a year’s painting residency at Christ’s College, Cambridge.
Goudie was awarded the R. S. P. Prize for painting at the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1999, and the N. S. MacFarlane Prize at the Royal Scottish Academy in 2001. He studied at the Camberwell College of Arts and is a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters.
He has presented the television programmes Secret Knowledge: The Art of Witchcraft (2013) and Stanley Spencer: The Colours of Clyde (2014), both on BBC Four. In 2017 he was a judge on the BBC’s The Big Painting Challenge. In 2017 he was commissioned to document the construction of new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy. In 2015 he wrote and presented the four-part BBC series The Story of Scottish Art.