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Beaune
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: National Trust for Scotland, Culzean Castle, Garden & Country Park

Beaune 1982

William Crosbie (1915–1999)

National Trust for Scotland, Culzean Castle, Garden & Country Park

Painter, draughtsman and mural artist, born in Hankow, China, of Scottish parents. The family stayed in China until 1926; Crosbie had a Chinese tutor, and Oriental philosophy remained a potent force in his life and work. After toying with the idea of a commercial career back in Glasgow, Crosbie decided instead to be a painter and studied at the School of Art, 1932–5. A Haldane Travelling Scholarship took him to Paris, where he studied history of art at the Sorbonne and worked under Fernand Léger and Aristide Maillol. He then joined an archaeological expedition to Egypt, where he copied friezes on temple walls, but was back in Britain to serve in the Merchant Navy and Civil Defence during World War II. Crosbie now made a name as a mural painter through his association with architects such as Basil Spence; the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Britain Can Make It show in 1946 and the Festival of Britain, in 1951, were examples.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)


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