Elizabeth Blackadder


Irises were the artist's favourite flower. She depicts the irises from various angles here, having using watercolours to capture the irises' delicacy and vibrant colour, for the design of this tapestry woven by Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh.Blackadder was a lifelong flower lover who kept a collection of local flowers as a child, each pressed and labelled with their Latin names. She started keeping a sketchbook in 1979 to record each variety as it appeared in her garden.

  • Artist

    Elizabeth Blackadder

  • Date


  • Medium


  • Object number


  • Dimensions unframed

    149.9 × 226 cm

  • Marks

    Artists initials and Weavers verso.

  • Subject

    Still Life

  • Copyright

    Ⓒ The Artist's Estate. All Rights Reserved 2019/Bridgeman Images


Elizabeth Blackadder DBE RA RSA RSW, 1931 - 2021

Born in Falkirk, Blackadder studied art at Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art, where her teachers included Blyth, Philipson and MacTaggart, although it was Gillies who had the greatest impact on her work. Awarded a Carnegie Travelling Scholarship in 1954, she visited Yugoslavia, Greece and Italy, studying Classical and Byzantine art at first hand. In 1956 she took up a two-year part-time teaching post at Edinburgh College of Art, and from 1962 to 1986 taught there full time. She travelled extensively in Europe, America and Japan.

Blackadder was the first woman to be elected an Academician of both the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy in London. She was an Honorary Member of the Royal West of England Academy, the Royal Watercolour Society and the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2001 she was appointed Her Majesty's Painter and Limner in Scotland.