Alexander (Sandy) Moffat

Poets' Pub (Norman MacCaig, Sorley MacLean, Hugh MacDiarmid, Iain Crichton Smith, George Mackay Brown, Sidney Goodsir Smith, Edwin Morgan, Robert... (1980)

About this artwork

Moffat's group portrait is an imaginary vision of the major Scottish poets and writers of the second half of the twentieth century gathered around the central figure of Hugh MacDiarmid. From left to right, they are: Norman MacCaig, Hugh MacDiarmid, Sorley Maclean, Iain Crichton Smith, George Mackay Brown, Sydney Goodsir Smith, Edwin Morgan and Robert Garioch. In the foreground is Alan Bold and, on the steps behind, the art critic, John Tonge. The setting is an amalgam of the interiors of their favourite drinking haunts in Edinburgh: Milne's Bar, the Abbotsford and the Café Royal.

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Alexander (Sandy) Moffat

Alexander (Sandy) Moffat

Born in Dunfermline, Moffat studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 1960 to 64. Alongside his friend John Bellany, Moffat emerged as one of the Scottish Realists, so-called because of their social awareness and rejection of the decorative principles that defined much Scottish art during the first half of the twentieth century. Moffat was particularly close to the poet Hugh MacDiarmid and his literary circle. From 1979 Moffat taught at Glasgow School of Art where he encouraged a new generation of Scottish figurative painters including Peter Howson, Ken Currie and Steven Campbell.