About this artwork

MacGregor's large, bold still-life painting is considered his masterpiece. The rich colours and thick square brush strokes contribute to the convincingly robust character of the vegetables and the textural variety of the setting. Originally the figure of the stall holder, a young market girl counting her takings, was included at the right side. This feature reflected the influence of earlier French and Flemish paintings. MacGregor's decision to concentrate on the still life, however, resulted in a highly original picture. He produced this work while living in Crail, Fife, during the summer months of 1884.

William York MacGregor

William York MacGregor

MacGregor was one of the leading artists in the group known as the Glasgow Boys, painting landscapes and contemporary scenes in a fresh, direct way, influenced by developments in French painting. With his school friend, James Paterson, a fellow Glasgow Boy, he often painted during summer expeditions out of the city. After studying at Glasgow School of Art and in a local artist's studio, MacGregor attended the Slade School in London under Alphonse Legros. On his return to Glasgow he ran a life class in his studio, which became the regular meeting place for the Glasgow Boys.

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