L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Friday, August 10, 2018

The challenging gaze - "The Yellow Glove", by James Cowie, 1928

A portrait of the artist’s second wife, Alice, "The Yellow Glove" was painted in the early days of the couple’s marriage. Apparently, Alice Cowie was quite a clever and socially ambitious woman whose outgoing personality contrasted sharply with that of her rather introverted husband. The clear, direct color and dramatic angles, here, seem a response to the sitter’s strong features and rather aloof - even challenging - expression, resulting in an image that is - as much as anything else - a declaration of his wife's strength of character.


James Cowie (16 May 1886, Cuminestown – 18 April 1956, Edinburgh), Scottish painter and teacher. Born on a farm in Aberdeenshire, he went on to study English Literature at Aberdeen University, but failed to graduate. He then obtained a teacher training qualification in drawing and took a teaching position, but a few years later he enrolled at the Glasgow School of Art, where he completed his Diploma in two years. Over the next decades he accepted positions at a number of art academies, but didn't have his first solo exhibition until 1935. He continued teaching; his students would include Robert Colquhoun, Robert MacBryde, Robert Henderson Blyth, and Joan Eardley. In 1952 he suffered a severe stroke from which he never fully recovered, and he died four years later at the age of sixty-nine.

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