About this artwork

This work was painted in Catterline, a village on the East Coast of Scotland where Eardley owned a cottage. It suggests something of the power of the sea, with the wave approaching the shore like a wall of water. The artist has described the circumstances of the painting: ‘It was painted during February 1961 – entirely outside – as is the case with all my sea paintings. It was one of four paintings which I had in progress during a stormy period of weather. I worked on all four together – or rather from one to the other according to the tide’.

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  • title: The Wave
  • accession number: GMA 791
  • artist: Joan EardleyEnglish (1921 - 1963)
  • gallery: Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art Two(On Display)
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: The sea
  • materials: Oil and grit on hardboard
  • date created: 1961
  • measurements: 121.90 x 188.00 cm (framed 126.80 x 192.90 x 3.80 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased (Gulbenkian UK Trust Fund) 1962
  • copyright: © Estate of Joan Eardley. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2016

Joan Eardley

Joan Eardley

Born in Sussex, Eardley moved to Glasgow at the outbreak of war. She studied at Glasgow School of Art and at Hospitalfield House under James Cowie. Cowie helped to shape her preference for everyday subjects. In 1949 Eardley rented a studio in the centre of Glasgow, and a few years later moved to Townhead, where the local street children were her preferred subjects. She bought a cottage in the small fishing village of Catterline, south of Aberdeen, in 1954. There, her favourite subjects were the village and sea, particularly in stormy weather. Eardley died of cancer in August 1963. Her ashes were scattered on the beach at Catterline.