Harold Williamson, “Spray,” 1939, Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum

A brilliant selection of realist paintings from the 1920s and 1930s are currently on display at this National Gallery that always seems to be showcasing something fantastic. Featuring more than 80 paintings, this show will leave you asking for more.

The Scottish National Gallery is calling them an “almost forgotten generation of artists,” referring to the principle artists featured during its current exhibition “True to Life: British Realist Painting in the 1920s and 1930s.” On view from July 1 through October 29, the exhibition — as its title suggests — focuses on the sidelined and largely forgotten cohort of realist artists after abstraction and distortion became fashionable in the United Kingdom after the Second World War.

James Walker Tucker, “Hiking,” 1936, Laing Art Gallery
Keith Henderson, “Harbour Crowd,” circa 1930, Worthing Museum and Art Gallery
Gerald Leslie Brockhurst, “By the Hills,” 1939, Ferens Art Gallery
James McIntosh Patrick, “A City Garden,” 1940, the artist’s estate


“Many artists of the period opted for a new kind of hard-edged, sharp-focused realist painting, and found new subjects in modern life,” the museum writes. “This exhibition, showing only in Edinburgh, includes paintings of astonishing technical accomplishment and stunning beauty by more than 50 artists — including Gerald Leslie Brockhurst, Meredith Frampton, Laura Knight, James Cowle, and Winifred Knights. This is a unique chance to rediscover a remarkable, but little known period in British Art.”

To learn more, visit the Scottish National Gallery.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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