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Room 5

Craigie Aitchison RA CBE (1926-2009) was a celebrated Scottish painter. He won the first Jerwood Painting Prize in 1994, having been shortlisted alongside the artists Maurice Cockrill, John Hoyland, Yoko Shiraishi, Euan Uglow and John Lessore. Crucifixions were a major theme in Aitchison’s work. Although he did not consider himself to be religious, Aitchison found this subject powerful and moving. ‘The Crucifixion is the most horrific story I’ve ever heard’ he said. ‘They were all ganging up against one person. As long as the world exists one should attempt to record that. It was so unfair’.

Aitchison was a great friend and admirer of Jeffery Camp, once stating that ‘Jeffery is the most underrated painter around’. The admiration was mutual. Speaking about the people and animals in Aitchison’s paintings, Camp reflected ‘They are protected by rituals, flowers and bright colours. They enjoy the soft green grass of summer. Only painting is worthwhile.’

In this display, Aitchison’s painting St Francis from the Jerwood Collection hangs alongside works generously loaned by, and available from, the Timothy Taylor Gallery, London.

Image: Craigie Aitchison, St Francis, 1993 © The Estate of Craigie Aitchison/ Bridgeman Art Library 2013