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© 2010 Estate of William Scott

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Mackerel 1947

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
Mackerel’ is one of the earliest of Scott’s works in which a still life is reduced to a very simple, almost two-dimensional image. Like many of Scott’s still-life paintings, this work features common, everyday kitchen utensils and foodstuffs, laid out as if in preparation for cooking a meal. Scott was primarily concerned with composition and form and the relationship of objects to each other, rather then the objects in themselves. In 1947, the year this work was painted, Scott explained that: ‘I find beauty in plainness, in a conception which is precise... A simple idea which to the observer in its intensity must inevitably shock and leave a concrete image in the mind.’

Glossary Open


The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.

Still life

A painting, drawing or photograph depicting inanimate objects.

Composition, Still life


  • Acc. No. GMA 3514
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 52.10 x 76.00 cm
  • Credit Miss Elizabeth Watt Bequest 1989