About this artwork

In 1878, Melville he made his debut at the Royal Academy in London with ‘A Cabbage Garden’. This pioneering composition is believed to have inspired Guthrie’s ‘A Hind’s Daughter’ of 1883 (NG 2142). Melville’s painting also illustrates his awareness of other artistic groups in Europe such as the Barbizon and Hague school artists. The sale of Melville’s picture to the Lasswade paper manufacturer James Hunter Annandale partially financed the artist’s studies in Paris from 1878 to 1880.

  • title: A Cabbage Garden
  • accession number: NG 2822
  • artist: Arthur MelvilleScottish (1855 - 1904)
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Parks and gardens
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1877
  • measurements: 45.50 x 30.50 cm (Framed: 67.90 x 52.80 x 7.60 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund, 2007
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Arthur Melville

Arthur Melville

Melville's travels in Europe and the Middle East inspired his vibrant paintings in oil and watercolour. He developed a distinctive technique of watercolour painting, described as 'blottesque', using dabs of pigment on wet paper and blotting them with a sponge. Melville, born in Angus, studied painting in Edinburgh before moving to Paris in 1878. He gravitated to the artists' colony in Grez-sur-Long and sold the paintings he produced there to finance his journeys from North Africa to India. From around 1884 he worked closely with several of the Glasgow Boys in Scotland and in London, before his untimely death from typhoid.