Woman Arranging Flowers
© Alan Davie

Reference URL

Woman Arranging Flowers 1945
  • Scottish Art
While serving with the Royal Artillery from 1940-46, Davie was more interested in poetry and jazz than art. However, during a period of leave in 1945, he saw an exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy featuring work of his former tutor, John Maxwell. Maxwell was a great admirer of artists Paul Klee and Marc Chagall and Davie was impressed with his paintings, commenting that he "was drawn towards the poetic, Romantic nature of his work". Inspired, Davie painted ‘Woman Arranging Flowers’ drawing the subject from his imagination rather than using a model as he had as a student. This intuitive way of working, alongside the heavy black lines which pull the work together became typical of his later work.

Glossary Open


Refers to artworks that emphasise drama and emotion.

Royal Scottish Academy

The Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) was formed in Edinburgh in 1826 by Scottish artists who felt alienated by what they perceived as the elitism of the Royal Institution and its management of contemporary art exhibitions. In 1835, the RSA secured exhibition rights in the Royal Institution building, which had been erected on The Mound by the Board of Manufactures in 1826. The RSA and the Board frequently argued over responsibilities for advanced art education. From 1859, the RSA shared the premises of the new National Gallery of Scotland under the Board’s custody. In 1910, after transferring most of its art collections to the Gallery, the RSA gained exclusive tenancy of the former Royal Institution building, where it continues to hold large-scale annual exhibitions.

Romantic, Royal Scottish Academy


  • Acc. No. GMA 4109
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 71.00 x 92.00 cm
  • Credit Purchased with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund 1997