Archive Blog – April 2015

The Egg-cellent Mr Scott!

With the Easter weekend fast approaching, we thought we would share with you some black-and-white photographs from the William Scott Archive of – among other still life objects – eggs!

The photographs were taken by Scott, although we cannot be sure when. In the 1950s, Scott had acquired a 35mm Agfa Silette camera and worked with his son James photographing stone walls in Somerset and Cornwall as well as setting up still life arrangements in the studio. The series of photographs to which those shown here belong is not dated but it is likely that they were shot in the 1970s, when Scott returned to that repertoire of still life forms – including bowls, pears, eggs and pans – which had informed his paintings of the 1940s and 1950s. Although the photographs were research tools rather than ends in themselves, like Scott’s late paintings they offer a ‘neoclassical version of the still life’ (to borrow Norbert Lynton’s eloquent phrase). Beautifully composed, the simplicity and stillness of the photographs reveal much about the aesthetic Scott was seeking in the final chapter of his career; minimal and concentrated yet monumental and musical, the late paintings are a distillation of all that came before.

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Lucy Inglis –