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Village under the Cliffs
© John Houston, R.S.A.

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Village under the Cliffs 1962

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
'Village under the Cliffs' was painted in Houston's Edinburgh studio from sketches made near the village of Staithes. The artist visited Staithes, which is situated to the north of Whitby on the Yorkshire coast, in the winter of 1961. Although the style of the painting verges on abstraction, the subject can still be seen. Houston has used structured horizontal and vertical brushstrokes to describe the houses in the village. The white marks in the sky represent seagulls. The intense colours and vigorous brushstrokes are typical of Houston's style of the period.

Glossary Open

Abstract art

Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used of the 20th century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.

Abstract art


  • Acc. No. GMA 3766
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 152.50 x 183.00 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1994