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Poppies against the Night Sky
© The Family of the Estate

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Poppies against the Night Sky About 1962

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
William MacTaggart enjoyed a long career as an artist, exhibiting regularly from 1920. In the 1950s he began painting a series of still lifes framed by windows. These have been compared to the work of the French painter Edouard Vuillard in their evocation of a privileged, enclosed space. In this painting from around 1962 a vase of poppies is framed by a window, through which can be seen a row of houses in Edinburgh’s New Town, opposite MacTaggart’s studio. The painting is not only a still life but a study in mood and tone, the rich, deep blues of the night sky balancing the colourful and exuberantly painted flowers.

Glossary Open

Still life

A painting, drawing or photograph depicting inanimate objects.

Still life


  • Acc. No. GMA 1046
  • Medium Oil on hardboard
  • Size 76.20 x 63.50 cm
  • Credit Scott Hay Collection: presented 1967