Come and visit our new collection website, featuring over 90,000 new object records and 35,000 newly digitised artworks
Robert Crombie Saunders, 1914 - 1991. Poet
© By kind permission of the Crosbie Estate

Reference URL

Robert Crombie Saunders, 1914 - 1991. Poet 1942

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
Glasgow-born Robert Crombie Saunders studied at the University of Glasgow before embarking on a career as a schoolmaster and a writer. His literary work mainly relates to various aspects of Scottish life and culture. In 1944 he edited a selection of Hugh MacDiarmid's poems, which did much to restore MacDiarmid's reputation after the Second World War. Crombie Saunders's poem on the Clearances is well known, but his work in general has been published sparingly. The artist, William Crosbie, saw experimentation as an essential aspect of a painter’s development. His work, created over fifty years, is diverse in style and ranges from cubist to surrealist. Here, the bold use of colour and large brushstrokes give the portrait an almost expressionist character.

Glossary Open


A style that made an impact in the arts in the 1920s, particularly in Germany. Expressionists deliberately abandoned realistic representation techniques in favour of exaggerations and distortions of line and colour that were intended to carry far greater emotional impact.

Highland Clearances

Mass evictions of small tenants and farmers by Highland landowners in the mid-nineteenth century, brought on by a complex set of economic, social and political circumstances. The events are notorious because of the abruptness of agricultural change and the brutality of many of the evictions.

Expressionism, Highland Clearances


  • Acc. No. PG 3048
  • Medium Oil on board
  • Size 46.90 x 36.20 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1997