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Anne Redpath - Artist

When Anne Redpath was a student at the Glasgow School of Art, a contemporary reported with astonishment that she painted like a man. Back in the 1940s that was actually meant as a compliment. Now it would be an insult, considering how some men paint.

She was certainly a tough lady, but very sweet, and one of the best artists of her time. She was absolutely hooked on landscapes, especially of places on the east coast of Scotland, and children, and her paintings are absolutely blazing with light and life. Children were hooked on her, too.

If aggressive colour and techniques are signs of masculinity, then Redpath had the masculine touch. It is more accurate to say that she had her own touch, her own vision; that she was herself. There was magic in her.

In 1952, at the age of 57, Redpath was elected to the Royal Scottish Academy, which may suggest that the largely male membership of the RSA had to think a long time before letting a woman slide into their august organisation.

A few years later she gained a well-deserved Order of the British Empire. Her work has been eagerly bought up by galleries in Edinburgh, Manchester, Vancouver and other cities that know great work when they see it. She died in 1965, aged 70, having never stopped enjoying her work.

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