David Cowan Dobson (1894-1980)
|Artist Name||David Cowan Dobson (1894-1980)|
|Title||Portrait of a Lady in a Midnight Blue Dress|
|Description||This impressive portrait oil painting is by noted Scottish artist David Cowan Dobson. Painted circa 1960 it is a half length seated portrait of a sophisticated woman in a silk midnight blue dress. The light beautifully catches her as she confidently gazes at the viewer. The colours and brushwork of the background are also fantastic. A really fine example of a Scottish portrait by this much sought after artist.
Signed lower right.
|Provenance||Remnants of labels verso including Bourlet.|
|Medium||Oil on Canvas|
|Size||25 x 30 inches|
|Frame||Housed in a James Bourlet gallery frame, 40 inches 35 inches and in good condition.|
David Cowan Dobson (1894–1980), referred to as 'Cowan' Dobson ARBA (1919), RBA (1922), was a leading Scottish portrait artist of his day. Dobson was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, the second son of the Scottish portrait painter Henry John Dobson (1858–1928).
Dobson started his career in Scotland. He was educated at George Watson's College in Edinburgh and studied art in Edinburgh, London and Paris. In 1918 he was using his father's studio at Dalry. Around 1920 he moved to London and from then on he worked and resided mainly in London. Occasionally, he would work in and around Glasgow. He is said to have rented Kenmure Castle, in New Galloway, Kirkcudbrightshire, in the 1930s and 1940s to entertain and paint fashionable sitters. Dobson mainly worked in oils but also painted some fine water-colour scenes. He painted in the tradition of the academic nineteenth century with mostly a rather darker colour scheme, while his brother Henry, influenced by the Modernist movement in Edinburgh, painted more colourful portraits. Although he painted some fine portraits of well known men, like Earl Attlee, Earl Beatty and Harold Wilson, Dobson also portrayed "fashionable London ladies". Dobson was married to Phyllis Bowyer, who was the brains behind his financial success. She made Dobson one of London's leading society portrait painters. She herself sat for the photographer Alexander Bassano, the resulting portrait now being at the National Portrait Gallery, London. During World War I, Dobson was commissioned by the Royal Air Force section of the Imperial War Museum to paint portraits of three recipients of the Victoria Cross. Dobson painted portraits of Lt. Col. L.W. Brabazon Rees, Sgt Mottershead and Flight Lt. A.W. Beauchamps-Proctor. Dobson first exhibited at Royal Academy when aged only nineteen and began showing at the Royal Scottish Academy four years later. Dobson's works were also exhibited at the Royal Society of Arts, Royal Society of Water-colourers, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Cambrian Academy, Fine Art Society and at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.