Scottish artist Anne Redpath was born in 1895 in Galashiels, United Kingdom. She is best known for her works on vivid domestic still lifes. When Anne was around six years old, the Redpaths moved from Galashiels to Hawick. After Hawick High school, she went on to study at Edinburgh College of Art in 1913. Her postgraduate study led to a scholarship that allowed her to travel to different places in 1919. She visited Bruges, Paris, Florence, and Siena. This trip represented a crucial moment in her artistic development as she discovered frescoes in Siena. Their dry and flat quality appealed to Redpath. 

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Anne Redpath_©Lida Moser

In 1920, she married James Michie, an architect, and they moved together to Pas-de-Calais in France, where her first two sons were born, the eldest of whom is painter and sculptor, Alastair Michie. In 1924, they shifted to the South of France, and in 1928, their third son was born, David Michie, an artist. During this period, Anne Redpath occasionally painted and devoted most of her time and energy to her family. In 1934, she returned to Hawick and recommitted to painting, exhibiting in Edinburgh and ardently engaging in the Scottish Society of Women Artists. She was made an associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1947 and in 1952, she became the first woman painter academician.  


“I do with a spot of red or yellow in a harmony of grey, what my father did in his tweed.” 

Born to a tweed designer in the Scottish borders, she identified a link between his use of colours and her own. Anne Redpath is famous for her still life subjects, usually featuring beautiful vases, ceramics, fabrics, and her own personal objects carefully composed and depicted for the best ornamental effect. She also painted views of landscapes of the countries that she travelled to and also depicted her loved ones in expressive portraits. Anne Redpath, significantly inspired by Henri Matisse, often flattens perspective and form, specifically to produce decorative elements within the picture frame. Her handling of oil paint is characteristic, with expressive handling and a rich surface texture. Texture and colour continued to remain crucial to her work throughout her career. 


Anne Redpath’s art developed out of two antecedents – the experiments with figurative form and colour in French post-impressionism and the development of that influence in the work of the Scottish colourists. One of her best-known paintings is The Indian Rug (Red Slippers) in 1942a painting of an interior with domestic objects. The placement of a bright red chair, comfortable slippers, and folk-art rug distinctly defined on a black background and conceptualized into a flat surface pattern demonstrated her mastery of structure. Her Window at Menton exhibited in 1950 pays tribute to the work of Pierre Bonnard, with its lace-hung windows that open out into the French landscape, and the female sitter wearing a checked garment, the type of setting and fabric pattern that mostly appeared in the works of the French artist. 

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The Indian rug (Red slippers) _©The artist’s estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: National Galleries of Scotland

Her friend’s portrait she made during her studies, Girl in a Red Cloak in 1920, has a flat stylized symbolism nostalgic of the work of Glasgow School. Like Eardley, Anne Redpath painted scenes of fishing villages and boats, though hers were sometimes made in France, where she lived during the period between 1930 and 1934, or on travels in Europe, instead of focussing on the Scottish coasts. Another significant painting includes Lindsay Michie. He is shown casually slumped in a chair, tieless, with one hand inside his pocket and Brylcreemed hair. 

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Window at Menton_©The artist’s estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: The Fleming Collection

Commissioned by Ruth Borchard, the collector to paint herself in 1964, Anne Redpath sent a self-portrait that she completed in the year 1943. It balances severity: the hair pulled back, the mouth unsmiling, the gaze level, and steady. It has the most gorgeously nuanced colour. The flickering dabs of paint are close-toned but with anarchic touches of strong contrasts, and the dark clothes that she wears in the painting are emphasized by a pink and blue scarf. 

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Lindsay Michie_©The artist’s estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: The Fleming Collection


Previous heart attacks had given her serious health warnings. But Anne Redpath remained undaunted and her determination to develop her artwork never fluctuated. It was that dedication, commitment, and sustained vitality that established a lasting place for her in the history of twentieth-century Scottish painting. Following a fall in her home in Edinburgh, 7 London Street, Anne Redpath passed away on 7 January 1965, and was cremated on 9 January at Warriston Crematorium, Edinburgh. 

Self Portrait_©The artist’s estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: Ruth Borchard Collection

Her works are represented in public collections in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, and Preston, as well as in London and in several Commonwealth galleries. Her artworks of golden baroque altars and lavishly illuminated church interiors in Lisbon and Venice painted during her last years are considered to be her greatest achievements by many. 


  1. (n.d.). Anne Redpath | 1895-1965 | Scottish Artist. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2022].
  2.  Jenna Burlingham Gallery. (n.d.). Anne Redpath – Biography. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2022].
  3. (n.d.). Redpath, Anne, 1895–1965 | Art UK. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2022].
  4. (n.d.). Gorgeously nuanced colour: the art of Anne Redpath | Art UK. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2022].
  5. Wikipedia. (2022). Anne Redpath. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2022].
  1. (n.d.). Anne Redpath. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2022].

Meera Venkatesh, an architectural writer, finds it intriguing to recreate the same experience of space through words. Her love for architectural history has led her to pursue a Master's in History. Someone utters "Indian Heritage"; you may find Meera there! Now, what's her new interest? Writing for RTF!