Oil on canvas
96.5 × 96.5 cm
111 × 111 cm
Signed and dated bottom left
Ⓒ The Artist's Estate. All Rights Reserved 2019/Bridgeman Images
Alberto Morrocco RSA RSW RP, 1917-1998
Born in Aberdeen of Italian Parents, Morrocco studied under Robert Sivell and James Cowie at Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen from 1932 to 1938. Both tutors were to have a great influence on the stylistic development of his early painting, and Sivell's passion for Italian Renaissance art made a lasting impression on him. After war service in the army Morrocco taught part-time at Gray's School. In 1950 he was appointed Head of Painting at Duncan Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, a post he held until he retired in 1982. During the following years he concentrated on painting and travelling.
The inspiration for many of Morrocco's paintings came from his extensive travels. In 1939, while visiting France and Switzerland on two travelling scholarships, he made numerous sketches and would refer to these for subject-matter for many years to come.
Morrocco's painting began to change in style during the 1950s, when he started to abandon his earlier muter palette and began his love affair with colour. This change was brought about by the exhibition of Vuillard and Bonnard at the Edinburgh International Festival in 1948, which was to have great impact on Morrocco and inspire his travels to the sun-soaked Mediterranean. In 1950 he went to Italy, his first visit to his parents' native country since he was a small boy. A few years later he visited Spain, and it was after this trip that he painted what was to be the first of his now famous beach scenes. He became an enthusiastic colourist, noted for his vibrant still lifes and his lively evocations of colour, warmth and fun of the Mediterranean lands, to which he would become a frequent visitor.
Although Morrocco is mainly remembered for his still lifes, he was also a successful portrait painter. A major retrospective exhibition of his work was held in 1993.