Property from the Robertson Collection
WILLIAM MCTAGGART, R.S.A., R.S.W.
signed and dated l.l.: W McTaggart/ 1890
oil on panel
18 by 23cm., 7 by 9in.
The panel is providing a good stable support. The work appears to be in excellent overall condition.
Examination under ultraviolet light reveals a minor spot of retouching to the upper right hand framing edge.
Held in a decorative gilt frame.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.
Ramsay Collection, their sale, Dowells of Edinburgh, 6 March 1909;
Dr William Boyd, Broughty Ferry, his sale, Sotheby's, London, 14 November 1967;
Christie's & Edmiston's, Glasgow, 3 November 1983, lot 120;
The Robertson Collection, Orkney
Edinburgh, Aitken Dott, 1907
Sir J. Caw, William McTaggart, A Biography and an Appreciation, 1917, pp.92 & 263
William McTaggart is celebrated as a painter of energetic seascapes, but in this small, ebullient picture the focus is equally upon those who depended upon such settings for their livelihood. Looking towards a headland a girl and baby sit and play, huddled fishermen mend their nets, while fishing boats lie at anchor or skim through the choppy-white waves of the stridently blue bay. Described by Caw as ‘a rarely joyous picture’ (Caw, 1917, p.92), Noon offers an emotive contrast to wilder works like Running for Shelter, painted from an identical viewpoint, or The Storm, another painting begun at the village of Carradale completed in the same year as the present work.
McTaggart returned to paint this location on several occasions throughout the 1880s, driven by a fascination with the days and seasons’ changing climate and light. In 1883 the artist had completed a larger version of the same picture entitled Fair Weather, Carradale. Although the present work’s date suggests it was painted in the studio, it retains the breezy animation of the original inspiration. Noon was described by Caw as; 'Brilliant in the soft brightness of the noon-tide, with sea-sparkles playing over the golden grasses and silver grey rocks on the rough foreground braes, and away up the coast, and with the yellow varnished boats in the anchorage and twinkling like touches of gold upon the calm water in which a hundred hues of clear blue and soft purple mingle as they spread to the horizon which trembles through the summer air.' (Caw, 1917, p.92)