James Stuart Carnegie Alexander (1900-1952)
"A Vase of Flowers"
(Asters, Michaelmas Daisies, Roses, Anemones, Camellias and Blue Lupines)
Signed "Alexander" Lower Left
Watercolour and gouache
Framed & Glazed
53.7 cm x 44.5 cm (Image)
77.8 cm x 67.5 cm (Framed)
Leigh Underhill Gallery, 100 Islington High Street, London (their label verso) (Circa 1960)
Private Collection, East Anglia
A substantial, beautifully framed and very attractive watercolour by James Stuart Carnegie Alexander depicting a vase of flowers; the arrangement including Asters, Michaelmas Daisies, Roses, Anemones, Camellias and Lupine.
The artist (whose name is often simply shortened to 'Stuart Alexander') was born near Selkirk in the Scottish Borders, the son of David Carnegie Alexander and Jane Florence 'Flo' Alexander (a Scottish solicitor and his wife). He was educated at Haileybury College, Hertfordshire where he was a member Thomason House. Having left school he spent six months as a cadet at the Royal School of Artillery in Wiltshire before embarking on a career as an artist. He received early encouragement from the distinguished Scottish artists Thomas Scott (1854-1927), Robert Alexander (1840-1923) and Edwin John Alexander (1870-1926) but was largely self-taught.
Alexander exhibited at Glasgow Institute, Walker Art Gallery Liverpool, Manchester City Art Gallery, Royal Academy, Royal Institute, Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolours. He ultimately lived at Wells, Hawick, Roxburghshire, where he and his wife were friends with the eminent Scottish artist Anne Redpath (1895-1965), who had grown-up and lived in the town. A Memorial Exhibition was held in 1952 and the Mainhill Gallery in Ancrum, Jedburgh, Roxburghshire held a show of his work in 1996.
In 1943 he had married Euphen Flora Alexander (née Cochran) (1917-2008) (who signed herself 'Euphen' to distinguish her work from that of her husband). From a Scottish military family she had been born at Rangoon in Burma, where her father Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Charles Purves Cochran was serving with the army. (Her mother Florence Edith Hurd Berthon was daughter of Major-General Thomas Porter Berthon). During her childhood, her family returned to live in the family home at Ashkirk House, Ashkirk near Selkirk and whilst having to endure an extended period of convalescence, while she recovered from spinal tuberculosis, Euphen developed an interest in flower painting. After her recuperation she went on to study under Cedric Morris at the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing at Benton End on the Essex/Suffolk border. In due course she became President of the Scottish Society of Women Artists.
This work here by Stuart Alexander shows a great affinity not only to the paintings of his wife Euphen but also to the work of Anne Redpath and Cedric Morris.
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