Joan Eardley, R.S.A. (1921-1963)
Joan Eardley, R.S.A. (1921-1963)

Snow, Catterline

Joan Eardley, R.S.A. (1921-1963)
Snow, Catterline
oil on canvas
30 x 34 in. (76.2 x 86.4 cm.)
There is a landscape composition by the same artist on the reverse.
with Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, where purchased by the present owner in 1962.

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André Zlattinger
André Zlattinger

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Lot Essay

In 1951 Eardley contracted mumps and while convalescing she was taken for a drive by a friend and local school teacher, Annette Soper. One of the places they visited was the small, isolated fishing village of Catterline, south of Stonehaven. Eardley was instantly attracted to the local community and to the surrounding countryside. They stayed at the Creel Inn and found that the Watch House, a simple two-room building, set apart from the village on the cliff top, was for sale. Within the year Annette Soper had bought the house and it became the base from which both Annette and Joan would paint. So began the final decade of Eardley's life, when she commuted back and forth between Glasgow and Catterline (F. Pearson, exhibition catalogue, Joan Eardley, Edinburgh, National Galleries of Scotland, 2007, p. 53).

In 1955 Eardley bought Number 1, The Row, Catterline, which was a shell of a house with no floor, ceiling or sanitation. She made it weather-tight, laid bark chippings on the floor and pinned up sail-cloths for walls and ceiling (ibid, p. 55). Here, from her own front door she often painted the shoreline (fig. 1). Her cottage can be seen at the far left of the painting, though by the time this work was painted she was using it as a studio and lived in a more comfortable house at the other end of the row. Perched on top of the hill and at the mercy of the elements, the cottages seem to be bracing themselves against the harsh weather.

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