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The Stewartry Museum

Evening Landscape

20th Century

John Maxwell was born in Dalbeattie in Kirkcudbrightshire. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art and later became a teacher there. Landscape was one of his favoured subjects and he often went out on painting excursions with his colleague William Gillies. As his career progressed however, Maxwell's landscapes became increasingly imaginary, often peopled with primitive figures and animals and filled with a psychological tension. They were paintings which revealed his affinity with the European Symbolist artists whose work he admired.


Maxwell experimented with combinations of media, often working with watercolour. His style was loose and more expressionistic than Gillies' but he actually worked far more slowly than his friend, labouring to visualise the scene he saw in his mind. Due to ill health Maxwell retired in 1943 and returned to Dalbeattie where he concentrated on his paining. However, in 1955 Gillies persuaded him to return to teaching and he took the post of Senior Lecturer in Composition at Edinburgh College of Art.

watercolour on paper
15" x 22"
The Stewartry Museum
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Creation Date:
Dumfries & Galloway Council