Still Life

Craigie Aitchison (1926 - 2009)

Oil on canvas


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© Craigie Aitchison

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  • About the work
    Country: Singapore
    City: Singapore
    Place: British High Commission
    This deceptively simple vertical still life consists of a vase and a blue bird. Craigie Aitchison singles his objects out in his landscapes and still lifes, giving them a vulnerability and fragility. This delicate simplicity reflects the artist’s interest in Japanese art. Before beginning a painting, Aitchison would experiment with different colour backgrounds that would provide the lead to his composition. This poetic, economical style was initially developed during a scholarship trip to Italy in the mid 1950s where Aitchison was influenced by works of Giotto’s where ‘everything in them seemed to be related to the edge of the picture’. On his return to the UK, his paintings had a new sense of the elements being anchored in space. They also showed the overwhelming influence of bright Mediterranean light and colour.
  • About the artist
    Craigie Aitchison abandoned his law studies to enrol at the Slade School in 1952, alongside fellow artists Paula Rego and Euan Uglow. In 1953 he won the Slade’s prize for best still-life and two years later he studied in Rome on a British Council scholarship. Seeing the colour and narratives of Renaissance Italian art first hand was an enduring influence. He started exhibiting his work in London in the late ‘50s, eventually moving there in 1963. He has exhibited regularly ever since, notably retrospectives at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (1996); and at the Royal Academy (2003). His work can be found in major public collections including Tate, London; Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries; and the Scottish Arts Council.
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  • Details
    Still Life
    Oil on canvas
    height: 76.50 cm, width: 30.00 cm
    Purchased from Phillips, 6 June 1995
    none visible
    With Fischer Fine Art; Private Collection, UK; sold through Phillips Son & Neal, on 6 June 1995 (Lot 32); from which sale purchased by the Governemnt Art Collection
    GAC number