Glasgow-Boys

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Edward Arthur Walton painted A Daydream in 1885.

Demonstrating the influence Jean-François Millet and Jules Bastien-Lepage had on the Glasgow School, A Daydream depicts a pair of children sitting outdoors. Dirt, clumps of grass, and a dandelion form the beautiful but somewhat unromantic ground on which they sit.

As the National Galleries of Scotland write, “Walton’s skilful brushwork has created a remarkable sense of immediacy and realism.”

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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.)