Joan Eardley, 1921 - 1963. Artist
© The Eardley Estate

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Joan Eardley, 1921 - 1963. Artist 1943
  • Scottish Art
  • Portrait of the Month
Joan Eardley's paintings of the street children who lived near her studio in Glasgow are her most familiar works. This is an early example by Eardley, painted during her final year at Glasgow School of Art. Although the painting looks unfinished, it is thought that the artist intended this to be the final effect, so that it looked like a relic or an ancient fresco. Eardley admired Italian Renaissance artists such as Masaccio and Piero della Francesca for the humanity and sculptural qualities in their work. She saw fresco cycles by both these artists when she spent her scholarship year in Italy in 1948 to 1949.

Glossary Open


A wall painting applied to fresh, wet plaster so that the coloured pigment is absorbed into the surface of the wall.


A period in European culture from the 14th to the 16th centuries in which the visual arts flourished with advances in the treatment of anatomy and the use of perspective. It is particularly associated with Italy, where it began, though the term applies elsewhere. It is noted for a revival of interest in the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome.

Fresco, Renaissance


  • Acc. No. PG 3286
  • Medium Oil on plywood
  • Size 53.40 x 45.70 cm (framed: 67.50 x 60.10 x 4.20 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 2001