Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Ian Grant (1904–1993)   BIOGRAPHY

Figures by a Lake, circa 1928
Framed (ref: 544)
Signed and inscribed on the reverse
Oil on canvas, 47 x 83 in. (119.4 x 211 cm.)


Provenance: the British School at Rome; Christie’s, 14 October 1987; Anthony Mould Ltd; private collection since 1992
Exhibited: The Last Romantics, Barbican Art Gallery, London, 1989 (no. 483)
Literature: John Christian, The Last Romantics, exh. cat., Barbican Art Gallery, London, 1989, repr. p. 197; Peter Davis, A Northern School, Bristol 1989, p. 170

Painted in his Diploma year at the RCA, and arguably the artist’s most significant early work, Figures by a Lake is a fusion of everything that influenced Grant during his formative years: the work of Maurice William Greiffenhagen, who taught him at the Glasgow School of Art from 1922 to 1926, the influence of William Rothenstein and Thomas Monnington, under whom he studied at the Royal College of Art from 1927 to 1930, and most notably the influence of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, whose work Grant became acquainted with while studying in Paris during the summers of 1925 and 1926.This painting was Grant’s entry for the 1929 Scholarship to the British School at Rome, for which he received second prize. Of his education at the Royal College, Grant recalled:‘The great high priest of drawing was Ingres and you were told to study Piero della Francesca as a Painter’ (quoted by Peter Davis, A Northern School, Bristol 1989, p. 170).

Ian Grant (1904–1993)

Painter, art historian and teacher, born in Scotland. He studied at Glasgow School of Art, 1922-6, under Maurice Greiffenhagen, then in 1927 at Atelier Colarossi, Paris, and Royal College of Art, 1927-30. Grant became senior lecturer at Manchester Regional College of Art, staying there, 1937-69; his wife Margaret Gumuchian, whom he married in 1953, was a student in his class. Other appointments included part-time work at Mauldeth Road College of Further Education, 1959-79, and lecturing in art history at Manchester University extra¬mural department. Grant was for a time vice-president of MAFA, where he won a major prize in 1986. In 1989 he was included in The Last Romantics at Barbican Art Gallery. Manchester City Art Gallery holds his work, which was exhibited at solo shows at Salford Art Gallery and elsewhere in the north. Lived in Stockport, Cheshire.

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