Mullah at Fez, Morocco

63 x 49 cm


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Alexander Graham Munro was born in Midlothian in 1903. He was educated at George Heriot’s School in Edinburgh and later attended the Royal Scottish Academy Life School where he won first prize in drawing.

In 1925 he won the Chalmers-Jarvis Bursary prize, the Keith prize and the Carnegie traveling scholarship. He studied in Paris with Andre Lhote, and spent time working in Holland, Italy, Denmark and Norway.

During the late 1920s Munro traveled extensively in Morocco, staying for long periods in Marrakesh, Fez, the Ouriki Valley and villages in the Atlas Mountains, and then to Tunisia and Algiers. It was during these years that he produced his exquisite small pastels. Their intense colour and superb draughtsman ship have given them a special position in the affections of numerous collections.

In 1930 Munro returned to Edinburgh and worked as an illustrator for Messrs. Thomas Nelson. In 1932 he married Ruth Morwood, also an artist. They returned to North Africa and the Mediterranean together on many occasions. Munro was now painting in oils from small sketches and drawings, often using large canvases and seldom returned to pastels.

He exhibited regularly at the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Society of Watercolour Artists. He lived in Edinburgh and worked successively as Art Master at Loretto Nippers and Trinity College, Glenalmond.

In 1959 as Director of the Royal Scottish Academy he organized and wrote the introduction to the catalogue for a retrospective exhibition of his friend Francis McCracken (1879 – 1959). Munro, McCracken and John Weeks (1888 – 1965) had met and painted together and corresponded since the 1920s. Their friendship began whilst studying at the Royal Scottish Academy School.

In 1984 William Hardie Limited presented the first one-man show of Munro’s work at the Edinburgh College of Art during the Edinburgh Festival. This was highly successful and was the subject of a short documentary by the BBC.

Munro died in 1985 and is recognized for his role as a “Scottish Colourist”.