View from a Tent (1933)
About this artwork
'View from a Tent' was painted during a trip Maxwell made to the Highlands with William Gillies, a fellow teacher at Edinburgh College of Art. Maxwell has depicted the sands of Morar, on the west coast of Scotland, glimpsed from the inside of the tent. Maxwell later said that trips with Gillies were a mixed blessing, for although he enjoyed the latter's company, he was intimidated by the speed at which his colleague worked. Gillies could finish half a dozen watercolours before he had even selected a motif.
Maxwell was born in Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbrightshire. He attended Edinburgh College of Art from 1921 to 1926 and then travelled in Europe for a year. For a short period he, like several other Scottish artists of his generation, studied in Paris, where he experimented with a cubist style before settling on a more conventional style of painting. In 1929 Maxwell began teaching at Edinburgh College of Art, where he became a colleague of William Gillies, who often accompanied him on painting holidays. In the 1950s Maxwell painted an extended series of semi-abstract still lifes, reminiscent of the work of Braque.