Scotland has a long, cultural art history. The oldest known art pieces are stone balls with carved pictures decoration them. These date from possibly the Bronze Age. These display early examples of the Pictish art form used by Scottish peoples during the Late Iron Age.
Also, found from that time period in the Western Isles monasteries is Celtic Christian art. This art included the insular style of script, high crosses and other sculpture works.
George Jamesone is the earliest identifiable artist born in Scotland. He was from Aberdeen and lived from 1589 to 1644. Jamesone was a portrait painter. The 18th century, the Scottish Enlightenment brought a surge in art and culture as well as intellectual attainments. Art and architecture evolved in Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries.
There were independent artists, as well as design institutes like The Glasgow School of Art starting in 1845, which turned out many successful, professional artists. Well-known, “The Four” Glasgow Boys from this school were Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Herbert MacNair, and Margaret and Frances McDonald who contributed much to the European art scene.
Scottish interwar artists hinting at the Modernist style, part of the Scottish Renaissance movement were the Scottish Colourists who took inspiration from post-impressionism. Then, after World War II, several post-war, Scottish artists gained international fame, including some contemporary artists. Indeed, from ancient to contemporary, anyone who takes an interest in Scottish art will find it a living part of the culture of the land.
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