William Scott

Mackerel on a Plate

1951–2

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 559 x 762 mm
frame: 752 x 960 x 100 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1954
Reference
N06245

Display caption

Describing his paintings, Scott said 'I find beauty in plainness, in a conception which is precise, a simple idea which to the observer must inevitably shock and leave a concrete image on the mind.' He became interested in painting realist still-lifes in the 1930s, often portraying the kitchen implements that he kept around his studio. He considered his work to be influenced by the French still-life tradition, particularly the eighteenth-century artist Chardin. As he developed, the objects became flatter and later in the 1950s became abstract shapes.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

N06245 MACKEREL ON A PLATE 1951–2

Not inscribed.
Canvas, 22×30 (56×76).
Purchased from the St George's Gallery (Kerr Fund) 1954.
Coll: Purchased from the artist by Basil Jonzen on behalf of the St George's Gallery 1954.
Exh: The Renaissance of the Fish, Roland, Browse and Delbanco, October–November 1953 (52); Some Trends in English Painting, St George's Gallery, November–December 1954 (no catalogue).

The painting was begun in February 1951 and completed in September 1952 (letter from Basil Jonzen, 24 December 1954).

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II

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