Archibald McGlashan (1888-1980)

Archibald A McGlashan, RSA (1888-1980). Painter of portraits, figure subjects in oil. Educated Glasgow and Paisley, studied at Glasgow School of Art under Newbery (qv) and Greiffenhagen (qv) where he met three kindred spirits, all of whom hasd a stimulating effect on the development of Scottish Art: Robert Sivell, James Cowie and Jack Lamond. This was when the Glasgow School was considered to be at it’s zenith. These four students were given every encouragement to analyse and examine some of the best paintings of the Italian renaissance. McGlashan was awarded a Haldene travelling scholarship enabling him to visit Europe. He was deeply impressed by Rembrandt and Frans Hals but most of all by the Italian Masters, especially Tintoretto. He was never in harmony with modern Americans or British Art, nor impressionism. He preferred to paint his own immediate environment, his wife, children, still-life, flowers and fruit. Good examples are his “woman and child” and “wife and child” now at Glasgow AG. Member of the Society of eight (qv). Travelled widely on the continent, settled in Glasgow and later retires to Rothsay, Bute.

Founder member, Glasgow Society of Painters and Sculpters, President of the Glasgow art Club. “His affectionate brush seems at a touch to bring life to a face, to a hovering butterfly, or to a shaft of light, while his sense of colour and design are a constant delight, both by their originality and brightness” (Hutchinson). He was one of the best children’s painters of his time. His colour is bold sometimes hectic but he makes flesh seem real and is especially good at conveying “isolated composure of sleeping babies”. He lived latterly with his daughter Agnes although he was visited frequently by his talented draughtsman son, John.

Elected ARSA 1935, RSA 1938. Exhibited RSA and GI (50+). Represented in SNPG, Aberdeen AG, Dundee AG, Glasgow AG, Laing AG (Newcastle Upon Tyne), Paisley AG, Edinburgh City Collection (2). Bibl: Hardine 148; MacMillan (SA) 332, 338, 348, 360. RSA Obitury. Born Paisley, 16 March; Died Jan 3rd.

‘Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture’ by Peter J.M. McEwan
Published by The Antique collector’s Club.