A homecoming for Scottish Colourists

A special  exhibition featuring paintings by Scottish Colourists is visiting South Ayrshire.
A special exhibition featuring paintings by Scottish Colourists is visiting South Ayrshire.

A rare collection of Scottish Colourist paintings will be on show at the Maclaurin Gallery, at Rozelle House, Ayr, from August 18 to September 30.

The exhibition Rhythm of Light: Scottish Colourists from the Fleming Collection has been touring museums and galleries south of the border. Now, as part of the Fleming Collection’s 50th anniversary celebrations, the colourists are coming home.

The Fleming Collection started in 1968 as a few paintings purchased to brighten up the offices of merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co in London. It had been decided to acquire Scottish works from all periods to reflect the roots of the bank’s founder, Robert Fleming, born in 1845 in Dundee.

Today the collection, now owned by a charitable foundation, consists of over 600 works dating from the 17th century to the present day and is deemed the finest collection of Scottish art outside public institutions.

Colourist paintings by S J Peploe, J D Fergusson, Leslie Hunter, and F C B Cadell, have been at the heart of the Fleming Collection since its inception. One of the first purchases in 1968 was Hunter’s masterpiece Peonies in a Chinese Vase, which along with other key works such as Peploe’s Luxembourg Gardens, Fergusson’s Blue Nude and Cadell’s The Feathered Hat, reveal their remarkable development as artists.

Director of the Fleming Collection, James Knox, said of the exhibition: “The range of masterworks in the Fleming Collection brings into focus the creativity, adventurousness, intellectual curiosity and native talent of the Scots – all of which the Colourists had in spades. An added bonus to this stand out show is the inclusion of the fine group of Colourists from the South Ayrshire Council permanent collection, most notably a dazzling work by Leslie Hunter.

“The show at the Maclaurin Gallery can only reinforce the Colourists’ status as four of the most innovative and distinctive artists in 20th century British art.”

John Walker, chairman of The Maclaurin Trust said: “The exhibition is generously supported by the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, the Maclaurin Trust, South Ayrshire Council and Investec - the Maclaurin Trust’s fund managers.”

Chairman of the Fleming Collection, Rory Fleming added: “Our 50th anniversary is a great moment in the history of the collection. This exhibition is part of our ‘museum without walls’ strategy, which lends works either individually or as curated shows to galleries - raising the profile and influence of Scottish art and creativity across the UK.’

Exhibition opening hours: Monday-Saturday 10am–5pm; Sunday 12pm-5pm