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Telephone: 0131 226 6932
46 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3NH, Scotland

Calton Gallery - dealers in fine art since 1980

An Art Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland specialising in
PAINTINGS - WATERCOLOURS - DRAWINGS - PRINTS - SCULPTURE
ANTIQUE FURNITURE - MARINE ART - SCOTTISH COLOURISTS
Online exhibition catalogue with detailed artists’ biographies.


Picture of the Month:

Alexander Jamieson IS ROI (1873-1937)


Bassin des Cascades, Chateau de Fontainebleau
Oil on panel, signed lower left, signed, titled & inscribed verso.
18 x 15 (23 ¾ x 21)




Detail from Bassin des Cascades, Chateau de Fontainebleau

With the exception of all but the very finest examples, the market for Victorian and Edwardian pictures has been in the Doldrums over recent years. Could there be light at the end of the Calton Gallery’s tunnel?
We’ve chosen our study of Fontainebleau by Jamieson for this month’s spot because Christie’s have one from an important series of studies of Versailles by him coming up in London on 23rd November, in their sale of British Impressionism – Lot 114. It shows an infantry officer chatting to a group of ladies in the shade of an avenue of trees in the Palace gardens. It’s estimated at an ambitious £30-50,000; if it achieves that, we’ll be delighted for the vendor and may have to consider bumping up a few prices of our own…..

Alexander Jamieson was born in Glasgow on 23 September 1873 and trained at the Haldane Academy (Glasgow School of Art) in the mid- 1890s. In 1898, he won a scholarship to study for a further year in Paris where, in the progressive atmosphere of contemporary French painting, his style began to develop a broad Impressionistic character. He met many of the Impressionist painters and was introduced to their techniques of painting in oils "au premier coup" and "wet-in-wet", where the next layer is applied before the first has dried and he used this to good effect; many of his paintings achieved a characteristic glossiness. Jamieson was much taken with France and Paris in particular. While in Paris he met the painter Gertrude (Biddy) Macdonald, two years his senior; she was born and studied in England, but had moved to Paris to continue her studies. They married in 1907 and settled in a studio in the Cromwell Road, South Kensington. By the early 1900s Jamieson was already showing at the NEAC, the International Society and selling at the Goupil Gallery. He made a series of studies of Versailles and Fontainebleau around 1905/6, when this study of the Bassin des Cascades was probably painted. His early work showed a close affinity with the Glasgow School, but, as Lavery pointed out, his later work was in the English tradition of landscape painting. He visited Spain in 1911, and held his first, successful, one man show at the Carfax Gallery, in London in 1912. He worked mostly in oil and painted landscapes, town scenes and occasional portraits, retaining from his days in Paris a particular fondness for the towns and countryside of the Continent.
He enlisted in Kitchener's "New Army" as a volunteer in 1914 and in 1915 was commisioned into the 10th Bn York & Lancs Regiment. He served throughout the Great War, taking part in the bloody battles of Loos, the Somme and Arras from 1915-18. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in January 1918 and was demobilised in 1919, at the age of 45. The National Army Museum has a painting by 2/Lt Jamieson of Field Marshal Lord Kitchener inspecting the 10th Battalion at their tented training camp in Halton, Buckinghamshire, in 1915. After the war, he settled with Biddy in the village of Weston Turville in the Vale of Aylesbury, a mere couple of miles from his old camp in Halton. He continued to paint and exhibit while living there, enjoying considerable acclaim for much of his work. But the Great War had taken its toll of him and he died aged 63, in London on 2 May 1937 and is buried in the churchyard of St Mary the Virgin, Weston Turville. Biddy Jamieson survived him, dying aged 80 in 1952 and is buried in the same grave.

He was elected IS 1904 and ROI 1927.
Exhibited RA (14), RSA (15), ROI (2), LS (13), RGI (15), AAS 1906-35 & L(12). The Tate and the Louvre have works by him. With acknowledgement to Dr Peter McEwan; see also James Bolivar Manson: The Studio vol 49 of 1910

Oil on panel, signed lower left, signed, titled & inscribed verso.
18 x 15 (23 ¾ x 21)

£12,500

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