Corner Table

John Maxwell

  • Artist

    John Maxwell

  • Date


  • Medium

    Oil on canvas

  • Object number


  • Dimensions unframed

    61 × 45.7 cm

  • Marks

    Signed and dated bottom left

  • Subject

    Still Life

  • Copyright

    Ⓒ The Copyright Holder


John Maxwell RSA, 1905-1962

Maxwell was born in Dalbeatie, In Galloway, where his parents owned the local cinema. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 1921 to 1927, when he was awarded a travelling scholarship. This enabled him to visit Spain and Italy - like Anne Redpath before him, he was impressed with the work of the Italian Primitives. It also enabled him to study in Paris under Fernand Léger and Amédée Ozenfant at Léger's Académie Moderne. On his return to Scotland he spent a year at teacher-training college, taking up a part-time teaching post at Edinburgh College of art in the following year. At the same time he assisted the college's Principal, Gerald Moira, in the execution of a large mural for St Cuthbert's Church in Edinburgh.
In 1933 Maxell became the first Andrew Grant Fellow of the college, which allowed him to work full-time for two years on a commission for mural decoration in Craigmillar School in Edinburgh. In Italy Maxwell had been impressed by early Renaissance wall paintings, and their influence reappears in his own Craigmillar mural. He returned to the teaching staff at Edinburgh College of Art in 1935, before retiring to Dalbeattie in 1946 to concentrate on his panting. However, in 1955 his close friend William Gillies, the Head of the School of Painting, persuaded him to return to the college. He finally retired in 1961 through ill health.