T02329 THE WINDOW 1924
Oil on canvas, 22 × 18 (55.8 × 45.7)
Presented by James Meldrum 1979
Prov: Given by the artist to William Meldrum, by whom bequeathed in 1942 to his son James Meldrum, the donor
Exh: John Q. Pringle 1964–1925: A Centenary Exhibition, Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum, summer 1964 (85) and subsequent Scottish Arts Council tour in 1968 of a selection of the 1964 exhibition; Eighty Ninth Exhibition, Paisley Art Institute March–April 1973 (59); John Quinton Pringle 1864–1925, City of Edinburgh Art Centre, October 1973 (no catalogue)
J. Q. Pringle did not paint in oils between 1911 and 1921. In the latter year he visited Whalsay, an island on the eastern part of Shetland Islands at the invitation of a friend, Dr W. G. Wilson, a physician, with whom he stayed, and painted three oils and a number of watercolours. Pringle sold his optical and repair business in 1923 in order that he could paint fulltime. The following year Pringle visited Whalsay again staying with Dr Wilson from June until August. In a letter to the donor dated 8 August 1924 Pringle wrote: ‘I have been working on 4 small W.C. most of the time here and just feel at times I have not kept them simple enough... I have kept to the shore in all I have been doing in chalk or brush. I have only I oil with the weather we have here.’ The oil referred to is not ‘The Window’ but ‘Girl in White, Whalsay’ (Glasgow Art Gallery), a view of a rocky sea shore to which he probably later added the figure of a girl.
‘The Window’ was also painted during this visit to Whalsay; Pringle told the donor that is was executed in his bedroom because for much of his stay the weather was cold and wet preventing painting out of doors. Like ‘The Window’, ‘The Grandfather Clock’ (Glasgow Art Gallery) an unfinished oil painting by Pringle dating from about 1924, also consists compositionally mainly of rectilinear forms.
This catalogue entry has been compiled largely from information supplied by Mr James Meldrum.
The Tate Gallery 1978-80: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1981