Bessie MacNicol

(1869 - 1904)
Bessie MacNicol Three Ladies of Fashion Dated 1900


MacNicol studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1887 to 1893. Under the directorship of Fra Newbery her contemporaries included the Macdonald sisters Margaret and Frances, Jessie Keppie and Kate Cameron. In 1893 MacNicol exhibited at the Royal Academy in London before undertaking further studies at the Académie Colarossi in Paris. Contributing almost annually to the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts exhibitions from 1893 to 1904, she began to attract attention and in 1896 opened her first studio at 175 St Vincent Street. Her one solo exhibition was held at Stephen Gooden’s Art Rooms in Glasgow in 1899. Otherwise showing very occasionally at the Royal Scottish Academy, her reputation was enhanced by exhibiting in Ghent, Munich, Vienna, Pittsburgh and St Louis. In 1904 MacNicol died of eclampsia. Press obituaries deplored the premature loss to Scotland of a potentially brilliant painter ‘worthy to rank with the best of her artist sons’

Glossary terms

  • The Glasgow Girls were a group of women artists and designers active in Glasgow at the turn of the twentieth century.