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A Cabbage Garden 1877

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
In 1878, Melville he made his debut at the Royal Academy in London with ‘A Cabbage Garden’. This pioneering composition is believed to have inspired Guthrie’s ‘A Hind’s Daughter’ of 1883 (NG 2142). Melville’s painting also illustrates his awareness of other artistic groups in Europe such as the Barbizon and Hague school artists. The sale of Melville’s picture to the Lasswade paper manufacturer James Hunter Annandale partially financed the artist’s studies in Paris from 1878 to 1880.

Glossary Open

Barbizon School

The Barbizon School were an informal group of artists who were active between about 1830-1870. The most important members of the group were Jean-François Millet, Théodore Rousseau, Charles Jacque, Jules Dupré and Constant Troyon. Both Camille Corot and Charles Daubigny were also associated with the group. The artists would gather to paint in the forest of Fontainebleau near the village of Barbizon, a name which later historians used to refer to them. They rejected the melancholic romantic landscapes favoured by bourgeois patrons, and instead sought greater realism in their work by drawing directly from nature. Some of their rural imagery of woodland, peasants and livestock was inspired by Dutch seventeenth century painting.


The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.

Hague school

A group of Dutch painters working in The Hague in the second half of the 19th century, painting in subdued colours to convey the atmosphere and impression of moment in their works.

Royal Academy

An independent institution founded in 1768 with Sir Joshua Reynolds as its first president. It is governed by the Royal Academicians - leading painters, sculptors, printmakers and architects, which number no more than 80 at one time. It organises exhibitions at its London galleries, including an annual Summer Exhibition.

Barbizon School, Composition, Hague school, Royal Academy


  • Acc. No. NG 2822
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 45.50 x 30.50 cm (Framed: 67.90 x 52.80 x 7.60 cm)
  • Credit Purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund, 2007