Robert Colquhoun

Figures in a Farmyard (1953)

About this artwork

In 1953 Robert Colquhoun was among one hundred artists invited to paint large pictures on the theme ‘Figures in their Setting’ for an exhibition initiated by the Contemporary Art Society. Colquhoun produced one of his largest and most resolved compositions, ‘Figures in a Farmyard’ which, unusually, was preceded by numerous studies and smaller oil paintings. At this time Colquhoun and his partner, Robert MacBryde, were living at Tilty Mill, a rundown farmhouse in Essex. This work is an invented composition, but was evidently inspired by the pig farm near his then home.

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  • title: Figures in a Farmyard
  • accession number: GMA 1306
  • artist: Robert ColquhounScottish (1914 - 1962)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Animals Plants and agriculture
  • materials: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1953
  • measurements: 185.40 x 143.50 cm (framed: 193.20 x 150.50 x 6.00 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased 1974
  • copyright: © The Estate of Robert Colquhoun. All Rights Reserved 2016/ Bridgeman Images
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Robert Colquhoun

Robert Colquhoun

Colquhoun was born in Kilmarnock. He studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1933 to 1938, where he met Robert MacBryde. The two immediately formed a close friendship and became known as 'the two Roberts'. In 1944 they moved to London, where they were drawn into the Neo-Romantic group, finding a studio which they shared with the painter John Minton. By the mid-1940s Colquhoun's style had turned towards a bleak, almost existential view of the world. His famously boisterous lifestyle earned him a reputation which often threatened to eclipse his art.