Ian Hamilton Finlay
© Alexander Moffat

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Ian Hamilton Finlay 1975
  • Scottish Art
Alexander Moffat’s artistic output consists chiefly of portraits, which are often of his family and friends. As an influential teacher and writer on art, Moffat’s sitters have included many prominent Scottish figures, such as John Bellany, Alan Bold and Norman MacCaig. In this portrait of Ian Hamilton Finlay, Moffat has shown the sitter in a natural and relaxed pose, looking as if he is thinking or listening to a conversation. By the late 1960s, Moffat had abandoned his palette of earthy colours to use bright colours, influenced by Matisse. In this work, the soft, bright pastels combine with Moffat’s confident sense of linear form to make a striking portrait of Finlay.

Glossary Open


A hand-held board on which a painter lays out and mixes the colours he or she is using. By extension it is used to describe the range of colours employed by an artist.


A drawing material made from ground pigment bound with enough gum or resin to hold it together in a stick, often smudged on paper to produce soft, atmospheric effects.

Palette , Pastel


  • Acc. No. GMA 1591
  • Medium Coloured chalk on paper
  • Size 54.00 x 40.10 cm
  • Credit Presented by Mr Philip Wright 1976