Hutchison's painting depicts his wife Margery (the youngest daughter of Edward Arthur Walton) and their two sons Henry Peter and Robert Edward are shown engaging in family activities, with one of the boys reading aloud to his family inside their home.
Oil on canvas
89 × 74 cm
114.5 × 99.9 × 8.5 cm
Signed bottom right
Ⓒ The Artist's Estate
William Oliphant Hutchison LLD PRSA, 1889-1970
Hutchison, born in Kirkcaldy, attended (against his merchant family’s wishes) the Edinburgh College of Art in 1909, later studying in Paris. Here he solidified his predilection for portraiture and landscape painting but was soon to be stationed in Malta during First World War. Upon return, he briefly lived in Edinburgh with his wife Margery, E.A. Walton’s youngest daughter, before successfully starting a career as a portrait painter in London. In spite of a sober and traditional style in his own practice, Hutchinson was lauded as Director of the Glasgow School of Art from 1933 to 1943 for encouraging the more avant-garde and experimental arts, and for looking after students and staff serving during World War II. In his later years, he combined his own nation-wide practice in portraiture, with institutional roles such as President of the Royal Scottish Academy or vice-president of The Scottish Modern Arts Association among others, finally being knighted in 1953.