Glasgow-Boys

Large (Wikimedia)

Joseph Crawhall painted this delicate little duck, The White Drake, using watercolor and gouache in 1895.

Though his work was most influenced by Impressionism, The National Galleries of Scotland also write that Crawhall’s “interest in Japanese prints and Chinese wash drawings on silk inspired watercolours like this one, which is painted on linen.”

The plants—most of them just sketched in, but a few rendered with nigh-botanical precision—and the beautifully attentive treatment of light as it dapples the grass and the duck betray the two influences.

The result is surprisingly simple: thin washes of color form basic geometric shapes.

Yet there is a remarkable vitality to the scene. (And especially to the duck.)

“Through the 1880s and 1890s—around the same time that the Spook School was gaining prominence—a collective which came to be known as the Glasgow Boys was interpreting and expanding thecanon of Impressionist and Post-impressionist painting. Their subject matter featured rural, prosaic scenes from in and around Glasgow. Their colorful depictions attempted to capture the many facets of the character of Scotland. ” (wikipedia)