chapter  6
23 Pages

The Case of F. C. B. Cadell

Periodisation, Taste and Professional Identity
WithYsanne Holt

Until the staging of an impressive retrospective at the National Galleries of Scotland in 2011, the first since 1942, F. C. B. Cadell had received relatively little critical attention. In rejecting the conventional academic system in Edinburgh, Peploe and Cadell were part of the broader, international movement from the early 1880s of young artists attracted both to the training delivered in French ateliers and to the degree of liberation from the perceived cultural conformity of home. In 2011 The Scotsman's Tim Cornwell, commenting on Cadell's acute observations of social life, deemed him a 'consummate Edinburgh painter'. Cadell's artistic practice then developed amid a relatively compact urban space with very sharply defined social and cultural distinctions and rapidly developing and diverse forms of consumption and entertainment. The character of Cadell's painting of Bethia Wauchope in the Ainslie Place drawing room, Interior: The Orange Blind is a striking contrast to that pre-War influence of Whistler or Lavery.