Art of Scotland

Scottish art is the body of visual arts made in Scotland, or about Scottish subjects, since prehistoric times and forms a distinctive tradition within European art. Scottish Art can be taken as visual or three-dimensional art produced within the modern area of Scotland since earliest times, or by Scots abroad. Parts of it form a distinctive tradition within wider British or European art, with particular contributions being made in the field of architecture.

The history of art in Scotland dates back to at least 3100BC. The residents of  Skara Braeon Orkney didn’t just settle and build homes, they also carved abstract decoration into some of the stones in the walls of those homes and made, or at least used, decorated pottery. Throughout the centuries art has evolved in Scotland and another notable arrival on the Scottish arts scene was the Glasgow School of Art, founded in 1845. In the final years of the century this was to have a truly dramatic influence in the form of the various factions of the Glasgow School. During this period The Glasgow Boys, a loose group of male painters, added their spin to Impressionism and the Post-Impressionist world.

The Glasgow Boys consisted of several men, most of whom were trained in, or had strong ties to the city of Glasgow. These men were brought together by a passion for realism and naturalism and this showed through in the pieces they produced. Along with this passion for naturalism, they shared a marked distaste for the Edinburgh oriented Scottish art establishment, which they viewed as oppressive. Driven and motivated by these ideals they embraced change, created masterpieces, and became Scottish icons in the process. They were responsible for creating the distinctive Glasgow Style.

When Glasgow painter Richard Wright scooped the prestigious Turner Prize at the Tate Gallery in London in December 2009, he cemented Scotland’s place at the forefront of the contemporary art scene. For centuries, Scottish artists have enjoyed notable success within the global artistic community. From 18th Century Edinburgh portrait painter Sir Henry Raeburn right through to Jack Vettriano, and his sell-out shows in New York and Hong Kong, Scottish artists have inspired awe and respect.

This trend shows no sign of altering either. Observers only need to look at recent major award lists to appreciate the influence Scots or Scottish-trained artists are continuing to have upon the wider artistic world. The contemporary art scene is currently thriving and we supply many of the up and coming Scotland artists to suit any taste.