Lot 52: [§] JAMES MCBEY (SCOTTISH 1883-1959) THE MARKET AT GERONA 46cm x 61cm (18in x 24in)
December 8, 2016
Edinburgh, United KingdomLive Auction
[§] JAMES MCBEY (SCOTTISH 1883-1959)
THE MARKET AT GERONA
Signed, indistinctly inscribed and dated 1921, inscribed verso, oil on canvas
46cm x 61cm (18in x 24in)
Note: A largely self-taught artist, who throughout his career focussed on works on paper, particularly etchings, James McBey followed in a long-standing tradition of Scottish artists travelling abroad in search of education, inspiration and subject matter. His first trip was to Amsterdam to view the etchings of Rembrandt, but this was just the beginning of a life of travel that saw him visit locations across Europe, America and North Africa, including lengthy periods of living abroad, in both America and North Africa.
In this charming scene from one of his many travel destinations, McBey captures in oils the hustle and bustle of a busy Spanish market. By dividing the composition into thirds he is able at once to convey the bustling crowds at market stalls, the distinctive architecture of the town, and the soft blue wash of the Mediterranean sky. His palette and technique in this artwork, the dabs of mint green, sandy cream, peachy-pink and hints of midnight blue suggest the distinctive local climate and architecture, the heat and light that differed so dramatically from that of his Scottish home.