Chance to catch a for­got­ten tal­ent

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - WEEKEND - By Nor­man Wat­son

Book Week Scot­land, the great an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of read­ing, con­tin­ues across the coun­try to­day and to­mor­row.

Folk of­ten take refuge in a good book, just as I some­times sought sanc­tu­ary among some of the city’s great paint­ings from the buzz of the com­bined quar­ter of a mil­lion Mc­me­n­ace and V&A vis­i­tors.

Re­veal­ing Char­ac­ters at The Mcmanus com­prises por­traits from its per­ma­nent col­lec­tion – and there are few bet­ter than Ste­wart Carmichael’s The Artist’s Wife (il­lus­trated).

Oil on can­vas, painted in 1897, it is a gor­geous like­ness of Mar­ion Wil­lis, who had mar­ried Carmichael in 1893.

An early grad­u­ate and tal­ented artist in her own right, Mar­ion Carmichael even­tu­ally be­came li­brar­ian to the Dundee Graphic Arts As­so­ci­a­tion, a pro­fes­sional ex­hibit­ing body.

She is also seen read­ing a news­pa­per – The Courier I hope

– in a pic­ture in the St

the­couri­er­magazine An­drews Univer­sity col­lec­tion.

Carmichael de­serves, but has never won, recog­ni­tion as one of Scot­land’s top por­traitists.

The Mcmanus does him jus­tice by in­clud­ing five of his works in Re­veal­ing Char­ac­ters.

A na­tive of Dundee, he trained as an ar­chi­tect and stud­ied art at evening classes.

When 19, he switched ca­reers to be­come a pro­fes­sional il­lus­tra­tor in Lon­don and later stud­ied in An­twerp, Brus­sels and Dus­sel­dorf.

He re­turned to Dundee in 1891 and for nearly 60 years en­riched the artis­tic life of Scot­land with a stream of work, in­clud­ing land­scapes, por­traits and sym­bolic com­po­si­tions.

Tall, erect and of­ten ec­cen­tri­cally dressed, he lived and worked at 65 Nether­gate for more than 40 years.

His death was in 1950 when he was 83.

He was pre­de­ceased in 1941 by Mrs Carmichael, the sub­ject of many of his finest stud­ies.

Re­veal­ing Char­ac­ters runs to early 2019.

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