The Glasgow shipping magnate Sir William Burrell built one of the finest universal collections in private hands, amassing masterpieces from every continent and era. Each purchase was only decided after lengthy research and negotiations. But there was one exception to this rule; so great was his passion for works by Joseph Crawhall that by the end of his life Burrell had amassed over 140 examples.
This exhibition offers a rare opportunity to see the finest works by one of the country’s most accomplished yet lesser known artists, Joseph Crawhall (1861–1913). It is also the first time in over twenty-five years that works by Crawhall, on loan from the Burrell, will be seen in London.
Born in Northumberland, Crawhall has always been identified as a leader of the radical group of young Scottish painters, the Glasgow Boys, who revolutionised landscape painting in the 1880s. In his maturity Crawhall won national and international acclaim with his watercolours and gouaches on linen of animals and birds.
Crawhall is sparsely represented in the large national collections and few outside Scotland have heard of him, yet during his lifetime he exhibited alongside Degas and Whistler, the latter declaring the painter ‘the truest artist of the Glasgow men, and, as far as I know, the best in England.’