About this artwork

The white drake combines Crawhall's detailed observation with his strong sense of formal design. He captured the play of dappled light across the bird's feathers and used the meadow grass to help define the space. The daisies and dandelions contribute both to the sense of recession and to the composition's decorative character, creating a rich surface pattern. Crawhall tended to work from memory and imagination, but based his work on his intense observations from life. His interest in Japanese prints and Chinese wash drawings on silk inspired watercolours like this one, which is painted on linen.

  • title: The White Drake
  • accession number: D 5415
  • artist: Joseph CrawhallScottish (1861 - 1913)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • subject: Animals Flowers Glasgow Boys
  • medium: Watercolour
  • date created: About 1895
  • measurements: 40.70 x 57.10 cm (painting) 72.50 x 90.00 x 3.00 cm (frame)
  • credit line: Purchased with support by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund 1996
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Joseph Crawhall

Joseph Crawhall

Crawhall's sensitive watercolours of animals and birds conveyed their individual character and nobility. His avoidance of the cloying sentimentality favoured by many Victorian painters reflected his deep respect for creatures whose undemanding company he enjoyed. Crawhall, who was from Northumberland, met fellow artist E.A.Walton through his brother-in-law, and became one of the so-called Glasgow Boys. Crawhall trained briefly in Paris but found painting with Walton, Guthrie and Melville far more significant for his artistic development. He was further inspired by visits to Spain and North Africa and his later works reflect his admiration for Japanese art.