This is the first monograph on the Scottish artist Arthur Melville with commentaries on the individual works and brings together lesser-known works from private collections. This illustrated book offers a comprehensive survey of Arthur Melville's (1855-1904) rich and varied career as artist-adventurer, Orientalist, forerunner of The Glasgow Boys, painter of modern life and re-interpreter of the landscape of Scotland. His travels inspired spectacular watercolours and paintings. This book illustrates around sixty of his works, each with a catalogue entry, and an essay by Kenneth McConkey.
Arthur Melville was arguably the most innovative and modernist Scottish artist of his generation and one of the finest British watercolourists of the nineteenth century, yet he avoided categorization. In 1943 the Scottish Colourist John Duncan Fergusson confessed that although they never met, ‘his work opened up to me the way to free painting – not merely freedom in the use of paint, but freedom of outlook’.
Kenneth McConkey is Professor of Art History and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Design, the University of Northumbria at Newcastle. He has written extensively about late Victorian and Edwardian painting.
Charlotte Topsfield is Senior Curator of British Drawings and Prints at the Scottish National Gallery and has a particular interest in watercolours and Scottish drawings.