Artist: William Findlay (British/Scottish 1875-1960).
Title: "The Valley of the Seine from the Chateau Gaillard".
Medium: Oil on Canvas.
Marks: Signed and dated (1905) lower left.
Size: 42.5 x 53.5cm (16.75 x 21ins).
Frame: Gilt wood and composition with thistle motifs (59.5 x 70.5cm (23.5 x 27.75ins) overall frame dimensions).
Exhibited: Royal Scottish Academy 1906, No.432. Glasgow Art Club (see label verso).
Condition: In fine, clean, original condition. The canvas has not been lined and there are no signs of restoration visible under ultraviolet light.
Biography: William Findlay, best known for portrait, figure and mural painting, was born in Glasgow, Scotland on July 26, 1875. He studied at the Glasgow School of Art, and also in Paris at the Académie Julian under Jean Paul Laurens. Findlay was based at 175 St Vincent Street, Glasgow from 1888-1929.
By the time Findlay joined the Glasgow School, this collective was already gaining prominence in the art movement of the time. He became associated with the circle known as "The Glasgow Boys": a group consisting of artists with links to or training in Glasgow, and who had rejected the received Edinburgh-based Scottish art as oppressive. United by the drive towards naturalism and realism which had emerged in France and continental Europe, and influenced by Japanese print – alongside the works of Jules Bastien-Leplage and James Abbott McNeill Whistler-, the Glasgow School were now interpreting and expanding these Impressionist and Post- Impressionist styles; producing al-fresco rural scenes and depicting the day-to-day lives of their denizens. Findlay's studies in Paris would have immersed him at the very heart of this movement, and his 1905 "The Valley of the Seine..." is a fine example of his work at this time.
The University of Glasgow today holds minutes of an 1891 meeting of the Glasgow Council considering correspondence dated January 19th of that year from The Glasgow Art Club, petitioning for the purchase for the city of a portrait of the Scottish writer Thomas Carlyle by the aforementioned celebrated American Impressionist, James McNeill Whistler. Amongst the list of artists appearing as undersignators is that of a young William Findlay.
Findlay himself moved to America in 1924, and lived in Canton, Ohio where he painted murals in the Onesto Hotel. Exhibitions in America included: Society for Sanity in Art, California Palace Legion of Honor, 1940; Beverly Hills Womans Club, 1941; and the Ebell Club (LA), 1941 (1st prize). In 1936 he moved on to and settled in Los Angeles, where he was to remain until his death on Sept. 24, 1960.
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