Colour and Light

This exhibition presents the art and influence of the Scottish Colourists centred on masterpieces from the renowned Fleming Collection, the finest collection of Scottish art outside public museums and institutions. 

You'll find around 50 works gathered across 3 of our galleries. These include the disctinctive works by the Scottish Colourists, S.J.Peploe, J.D. Fergusson, George Leslie Hunter, and F.C.B. Cadell, which have been at the heart of the Fleming Collection since its inception in1968.

The display at Abbot Hall features Hunter’s masterpiece Peonies in a Chinese Vase, which is one of the Fleming Collection’s earliest acquisitions. Other key paintings include Peploe’s Luxembourg Gardens, Fergusson’s Blue Nude and Cadell’s The Feathered Hat.

George Leslie Hunter, Peonies in a Chinese Vase, c. 1928, oil on board © The Fleming Collection

George Leslie Hunter, Peonies in a Chinese Vase, c. 1928, oil on board © The Fleming Collection

The exhibition will chart the careers of the Scottish Colourists from their early experiments inspired by Whistler and Manet to the breakthrough impact of the Fauves – the ‘wild beasts’ of contemporary French art - to the mature works of the 1920s, which saw a remarkable stream of Colourist painting and fused Scottish sensibility with a Continental palette.

S J Peploe, Luxembourg Gardens, c. 1910, oil on panel © The Fleming Collection

The quartet’s remarkable trajectory as artists is revealed in the exhibition, which reinforces their status as four of the most talented, innovative and distinctive artists in twentieth century British art.


In addition, the exhibition will feature works from The Fleming Collection which demonstrate the lasting impact of the Colourists on subsequent generations of Scottish artists, including works by Anne Redpath, William George Gillies, and Dorothy Johnstone, amongst others. The Fleming Collection works will be complimented by a selection of paintings from Abbot Hall’s own collection which will explore the influence of the Scottish Colourists on artists such as Elizabeth Blackadder and John Houston. This will be the first time that the legacy of the Colourists has been explored.


The aim of this exhibtion is a reinforcement of the status of the Scottish Colourists within in the history of art, as well as highlighting the achievements of Scottish artists to both new and familiar audiences. The range of masterworks on display from the Fleming Collection will bring into focus the creativity, intellectual curiosity and talent of artists who produced timeless works of art that can hold their own in an international context.


We're pleased to acknowledge this is the first collaborative exhibition between the Fleming Collection and Lakeland Arts, and honoured to have this as the last major exhibition to be hosted at Abbot Hall Art Gallery before it closes for its major capital development in spring 2020.

A book on the work of the Scottish Colourists, written by James Knox, is available to purchase in our shop. See our shop page for details.

If you're moved by this exhibition, the artists and their work we'd enjoy hearing about this on social media! Share your thoughts by tagging us and add #ScottishColourists


Location in Abbot Hall: the Centre, North & Peter Scott Galleries.

Dates: 18 October - 1 February 2020, with a special private view for our members on 17 October.


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If you're interested in becoming a member of Lakeland Arts you can learn more about the benefits including our other venues, special events and discounts under Become a Member.

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  • George Leslie Hunter, Peonies in a Chinese Vase, c. 1928, oil on board © The Fleming Collection