Watercolour on paper
From a series of studies created between 2018-20
When Alexander Moffat finished his second monumental composite portrait Scotland’s Voices (2016/17 oil on canvas 170 x 230cm), a companion work to his famous Poets’ Pub (1980 oil on canvas 183 x 244cm National Galleries of Scotland (on display Scottish Nat’l Portrait Gallery)), he turned to the landscapes of Italy and Scotland.
The works in this exhibition were created in the latter half of the artist’s seventh decade. The light is different. The colour palette is different. The subject matter is different. Influences are drawn from past experience, indelible in the artist’s memory:
‘Fifteen years ago I travelled to China to take part in a Li River expedition with a group of Chinese artists and poets. It was a rare privilege to spend a couple of weeks concentrating on drawing what was literally in front of me…the spectacular karst mountains that towered above the river. Exchanging ideas with my Chinese colleagues was also beneficial…their ‘landscape tradition’ goes back much further than ours. In Beijing and Xi’an I was able to see examples of painted landscapes from the 11th century and earlier. The entire trip provided further impetus for a more extended period of landscape study.’ – Alexander Moffat
The influence of the visits to China is most clearly manifested in the Apuan Alps series and within the series, particularly in this tall narrow orientation.