Colourism, colourist painting

Colourism is a painting style characteristic for its use of intense colour, and for making colour itself the main compositional language in the resultant work of art. The fauvists were partly onto this, but the first proper colourist artists first appeared in Scotland, and in Poland under the synonym Kapists, and in the USA as abstract ‘colour field‘.

The words Scottish Colourists usually refer to four painters S. J. Peploe (1871—1935), J. D. Fergusson (1874—1961), Leslie Hunter (1877—1931) and F. C. B. Cadell (1871—1935).

Without imitating French impressionism and post-impressionism, the Scottish artists looked at the artistic and cultural milieu of Paris for inspiration and arrived at their own individual styles. While the brushwork was daring for its age, the artists were somewhat more conservative in their choice of motifs and in their composition of Plein air landscapes, still lives and portraits.

Leslie Hunter’s paintings can be seen in Kelvingrove Art Gallery, whereas The Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery houses the largest collection of works by Peploe and McTaggart.