William Scott - Flowers on a blue cloth

William Scott

Flowers on a blue cloth

Oil on canvas: 16(h) x 20(w) in /

40.6(h) x 50.8(w) cm

Signed and dated lower right: W Scott / 38: inscribed and dated on a label attached to the stretcher: "FLOWERS ON A BLUE CLOTH"/ 1938

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BS 311


Greenock 1913 – 1989 Somerset

Flowers on a blue cloth

Signed and dated lower right: W Scott/38: inscribed and dated on a label attached to the stretcher:


Oil on canvas: 16 x 20 in / 40.6 x 50.8 cm

Framed size: 22 x 25 ½ in / 55.9 x 64.8 cm


Leger Galleries, London

Sale, Sotheby’s London, 1st May 1968, lot 107

J.R. Capstick-Dale

Sale, Sotheby’s London, 7th April 1971, lot 116

Private collection, UK

Sale, Sotheby’s, 15th May 1985, lot 182

Lord & Lady Attenborough, acquired from the above


London, Leger Galleries, Paintings by William Scott, 9th- 30th September 1942, cat. no. 4 or 20, as Flowers on a Blue Cloth No.1 or No. 2


Sarah Whitfield (ed.) William Scott Catalogue Raisonné of Oil Paintings, Vol. 1, 1913-1951, Thames & Hudson, London, 2013, cat. no. 32, illustrated p. 81

My interest in still life painting grew directly out of looking at Cézanne. I wanted to look at Cézanne not through cubist eyes, but rather through the eyes of Chardin. There were few works to be seen, but the great French exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1932 while I was a student jolted me towards new art’. William Scott

Flowers on a blue cloth, previously in the collection of Lord & Lady Attenborough, was most likely in Pont-Aven, where William and Mary Scott had settled by June 1938, following their studies at the Royal Academy Schools and subsequent travels through Italy and France experiencing first-hand works by early Renaissance masters and the European avant-garde. Close to the south coast of Brittany, the Scotts were drawn to the former artists’ colony of Paul Gauguin and with artist Geoffrey Nelson, set up a summer art school, sponsored the following year by Augustus John, Walter Sickert, Sir Muirhead Bone and Albert Rutherstone. By the end of 1938, William had shown two works at the Salon d’Automne in Paris and had been nominated as a member.


William Scott, Flowers on a blue cloth, 1938

Oil on canvas: 53.5 x 62.2 cm

County Hall, Leicestershire County Council



Greenock, Scotland 1913 – 1989 Somerset

Born in Greenock, Scotland on the 15th February 1913 to an Irish father and Scottish mother, William Scott grew up in Enniskillen, a small town in Northern Ireland.  He studied at Belfast College of Art from 1928-31 and at the Royal Academy Schools in London from 1931-35, first in the sculpture school then from 1934 in painting.  During his education at the Royal Academy, Scott won a silver medal for sculpture, became a Landseer scholar in painting and on leaving the schools was awarded a Leverhulme Scholarship.  In 1936 Scott worked for six months in Mousehole, Cornwall.  The following year he married a fellow student at the Royal Academy, Mary Lucas.  For the next two years William and Mary Scott travelled and lived abroad, mainly in France, Venice and Rome.  William, Mary and Geoffrey Nelson ran an art school at Pont-Aven in Brittany in the summer months of 1938 and 1939, living for the rest of the year in the south at St. Tropez and Cagnes–sur-mer.  In 1938 he was elected Sociétaire du Salon d’Automne, Paris.  He left France in the autumn of 1939, spending a few months in Dublin before returning to London.  In January 1941 he took a cottage at Hallatrow, near Bristol, where he ran a market garden and taught part-time at Bath Academy.

In 1942 Scott was given his first one-man exhibition at the Leger Galley, London.  The same year he volunteered for the army and served nearly four years from 1942-6 in the Royal Engineers, during which time his painting practically ceased.  While in the map making section, Scott learnt the technique of lithography.  In 1945 he illustrated the Soldier’s Verse, chosen by Patric Dickenson with original lithographs by W Scott.

In 1946 Scott was appointed Senior Painting Master at Bath Academy, Corsham.  He was elected a member of the London Group in 1949 and in 1953, after teaching at a summer school in Canada, Scott visited New York, where he met Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Frans Kline.  In 1958 a retrospective exhibition of Scott’s work was exhibited at the British Pavillion at the Venice Biennale, and he was commissioned to create a large mural for Attnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry.  In 1959 he was awarded first prize in the painters section at John Moores Liverpool Exhibition.  William Scott died on the 28th December 1989.

Post War BritishWilliam Scott