Stanley Cursiter

Stanley Cursiter

Stanley Cursiter, CBE (1887-1976) was a Scottish artist who played an important role in introducing Post-Impressionism and Futurism to Scotland.


Born in Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, Cursiter was educated at Kirkwall Grammar School before moving to Edinburgh, where he studied at Edinburgh College of Art. His early paintings were influenced by cubism, futurism and vorticism. After World War I he adopted a more realist style.

Cursiter became an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1927, a full Academician in 1937 and served as Secretary to the Academy from 1953 to 1955. He was the first Secretary of the Royal Fine Arts Commission for Scotland and was appointed Keeper of the National Galleries of Scotland in 1930, a post he held until 1948. That same year, he was granted the Freedom of Kirkwall and was appointed as the King's (later to be Queen's) Painter and Limner for Scotland, a position he held until his death.

He painted watercolour landscapes of East Lothian, Orkney and Shetland, and designed Saint Rognvald Chapel in St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall. He is particularly renowned for his portraits and is considered amongst the finest Scottish portraitists of the 20th Century. He painted 'Her Majesty The Queen receiving the Honours of Scotland' in the High Kirk of St Giles in 1953, this painting hangs on the Great Stair, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh

Cursiter was influential in the campaign to create a Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. He died in Stromness in 1976.

Selected works

* "Rain on Princes Street", 1913
* "The Regatta", 1913
* "Villefranche",circa 1920
* "Geo at Yesnaby and Brough of Bigging, 1929
* "Window - Burnstane House", circa 1935
* "The Old Store, Stromness", 1950
* "The Honours of Scotland", 1954
* "Landscape in the Orkneys", 1954
* "The sensation of crossing the street, west end, Edinburgh"

See also

External links

* [ Biography on the Gazeteer for Scotland]
* [ Some examples of Cursiter's work in his Modernist style]

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