The Scottish Colourist Series: FCB Cadell

  • 22nd October 2011 − 18th March 2012 | Modern Two (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art)

A Colourist Emerges

Cadell grew up in Edinburgh and showed artistic ability from an early age. In 1898, when he was sixteen, he moved to Paris and immersed himself in French painting. From 1902 to 1905 Cadell lived in Paris and Edinburgh and tentatively embarked upon a professional career. In 1907 he enrolled at the Akademie der Bildenden K√ľnste in Munich, returning to Scotland the following year and staging his first solo exhibition in Edinburgh in 1908.

In 1909 Cadell secured an impressive studio in George Street, in the heart of Edinburgh and met SJ Peploe, who became a life-long friend. A trip to Venice in 1910 proved to be a turning point, inspiring a newly confident use of bright colour and a loosening of technique. In 1912 Cadell visited the Hebridean island of Iona for the first time and was to return there virtually ever summer for the rest of his life.

During the immediate pre-war period, Cadell established himself as an artist of note. He developed a palette based on white, cream and black enlivened with highlights of bold colour. He revelled in the northern light of the Scottish capital, the beauty of its architecture and interiors, as well as the elegance of its inhabitants.

Next: A Gift of Colour and Light