About this artwork

The fresh bright colours of the sunlit landscape complement the healthy complexions of the two young girls resting by the stream. The distant lambs help confirm the season as Spring, a time of new life and optimism echoed in the girls' youthful innocence. G.B.Simpson, a textile manufacturer from Dundee, who was a collector and enthusiastic amateur artist commissioned a pair of pictures, Spring and Autumn, from McTaggart in 1863. The compositions were planned through a series of pencil drawings and oil sketches also purchased by Simpson to ensure his exclusive ownership.

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William McTaggart

William McTaggart

McTaggart's land and seascapes reflect his fascination with nature and man's relationship with it. His bold colours and vigorous brushwork find parallels in Impressionist painting, although essentially form part of a distinct Scottish tradition. They also echo qualities in paintings by Constable and Turner, whom he admired. McTaggart was born on the Mull of Kintyre and returned there frequently from his studio in Glasgow and later from his home in Broomieknow, just outside Edinburgh. He trained in Edinburgh at the Trustees' Academy and enjoyed early success when elected as an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy aged twenty-four.