Anne Redpath OBE ARA
British (1895 -1965)
Anne Redpath was born in Galashiels and studied at Edinburgh College of Art. Redpath showed her exceptional talent as an artist at a young age and in 1919 she won a travelling scholarship which enabled her to spend that year in Florence, Siena, Bruges and Paris before returning to the Borders.
In 1920 Redpath married the architect James Michie. His work took the family to Cap Ferrat. During this time Anne rarely painted, preferring to concentrate on her role as a mother to her three sons. On her return to Hawick in 1934 she started to paint prodigiously. As she later explained, ‘Taking up art again is different from music. The actual technique doesn’t matter quite so much as it would in music. But at first it is difficult to attain the same kind of abandon and bravura in your painting.’ Accordingly, her work from this period which concentrated on Border landscapes and studio interiors was executed in a subdued palette.
Redpath admired the French Post-Impressionist artists, such as Van Gogh and Gauguin, and also Matisse.
It was not until 1942 that her painting regained the confidence that her brilliant student days had promised. Her palette gradually became more vibrant and, from the mid-1940’s onwards her works showed an increasing tendency towards abstraction. She was elected an associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1947 and was the first woman to be elected as a full member, in 1952. She exhibited regularly at the Royal Scottish Academy, the Society of Scottish Artist’s, the Royal Glasgow Institute and, from 1946 at the Royal Academy. During her lifetime she exhibited more than four hundred works at public exhibitions. In 1960 she was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy having already been awarded the O.B.E in 1955, the same year that she was awarded an honorary Doctorate from Edinburgh University.
Redpath was represented by Aitken Dott in Edinburgh and by Alex Reid & Lefevre in London. The majority of her exhibited work was produced between 1950 and 1965 when she travelled extensively throughout Europe. Spain, Portugal, Corsica, the South of France and the Canary Island were her favorite locations.