Corn Marigolds

by Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell


DIMENSIONS: 12.3 x 9.3 inches (31.2 x 23.6 cm)
SIGNATURE: Signed ‘F. C. B. Cadell’ (lower left),  inscribed and signed (verso)
MEDIUM: Oil on panel



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    Catalogue No: 6752 Categories: ,

    Cadell successfully distinguished himself as a painter of portraits, figure subjects, still lifes and interior scenes. As his artistic practice was largely confined to Scotland, Cadell was less responsive to continental developments than the other Colourists; instead he closely focused on studio and interior scenes, experimenting formally with colour and composition. Cadell’s relative artistic isolation and his regular painting trips to Iona have encouraged the perception that he is the most ‘Scottish’ of the Colourists.

    Private collection, Scotland
    Private collection, UK

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    Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, 1932, no. 240, as Marigolds

    Francis Cadell was born in Scotland in 1883 and was one of the four artists known as the Scottish Colourists. He was renowned for his elegant interiors of the New Town area of Edinburgh and the island of Iona, Inner Hebrides.

    He studied in Paris at Academie Julian where he was in contact with the French avant-garde of the day. His exposure to work by the early fauvists, particularly Matisse, proved to be his most lasting influence. When he returned to Scotland he regularly exhibited in Edingburgh and Glasgow.

    He was the only colourist to sign up at the beginning of World War I where he served on the French front. Before he went to war he produced a series of witty, quick pictures, capturing life in the army and these pieces stand out as a strong body of work in their own right.

    In 1919 he was decommissioned, which had a profound effect on his work. He was inspired by his new surroundings, close collaboration with another Scottish Colourist Samuel Peploe, interest in Art Deco and reaction to the squalor of the trenches. His post-war work features tightly cropped compositions, flat application of paint and increasingly brilliant use of colour in still life’s and figure studies.


    Cadell spent most of his adult life in Scotland and as such his artwork features environments that were close at hand, landscapes, the city, figures and still life.

    He painted some glamorous pictures of women in a loose, impressionistic manner with vibrant waves of colour. The landscape of Iona features prominently in his work and during the 1920s he spent his summers with Peploe.

    In the mid-late twenties, Cadell suppressed perspective and shadow and rendered objects instead with barely modulated colour. He was fascinated with shadow and he developed a late style using black as outline with a less structured technique and more sober colours.

    Cadell exhibited regularly from 1921 until the last years of his life, not least in exhibitions organised by the Glasgow-based art dealer Alexander Reid and his son A. J. McNeill Reid. Public recognition of Cadell’s work also grew as it entered various British public collections. Cadell was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour in 1935 and was made an Academician of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1936.

    Cadell died in 1937 from cancer.

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