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Sir William MacTaggart
Born at Loanhead in 1903, Sir William MacTaggart is one of the best-loved and yet least well-understood of Scottish artists. MacTaggart, grandson of the great landscape painter, took his Diploma at the same time as William Gillies and Geissler and followed the same route to Paris. Back in Edinburgh he was a founder member of the 1922 Group (of younger painters), in 1927 he joined the Society of Eight whose members included Colourists Cadell and Peploe and began a consistently successful exhibition career starting at The Scottish Gallery in 1929. A sumptuous painter in oils, he was a prolific draughtsman and preferred pastel to watercolour; instinctively an expressionist and romantic painter his outlook shifted dramatically after the Munch exhibition at the SSA in 1931 (eventually marrying the Norwegian curator Fanny Aavatsmark) and again after studying Roualt in Paris in the early sixties. From his home and studio in Edinburgh’s Drummond Place, some of his best-known works offer a still life, framed by a window, looking east towards Bellvue Church.