Arthur Melville RWS (1855/8-1904)

Arthur Melville in his studio.

The Scottish born painter Arthur Melville trained at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh, and then in 1878 went to Paris. He made a two year trip to the Middle East in 1881-3, and among later trips abroad, went to Spain with Frank Brangwyn in 1892. Gleeson White wrote of him as being one of the chief influences on the Glasgow School, though he was not a member. His base was in London from the end of the 1880s, though he visited Edinburgh often. He had a close working relationship with W. Graham Robertson, and they painted together for a time. He died prematurely of typhoid in 1904.

Melville's pictures of life in Spain, Tangiers, Morocco, Venice, India and Persia included many many watercolours tending to the wishy-washy, but at their best, bright and colourful Orientalist scenes.

Examples of his Orientalist work are in the National Gallery of Scotland and in Glasgow, and a Spanish bull-fighting scene is in the V&A.

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