David GAULD 1865 - 1936
ARSA 1918, RSA 1924
Born in Glasgow, David Gauld was apprenticed to a lithographer and first attracted attention with his pen-and-ink illustrations, which appeared in the Glasgow Weekly Citizen newspaper during the later 1880s.
He also studied part-time at Glasgow School of Art from 1882-5. David Gauld stands on the edge of the Glasgow School; his interest was more in the decorative possibilities of a painting, rather than in any social comment, and he was attracted by the decorative aspects of the Kirkcudbright School – in particular George Henry and EA Hornel and visited Galloway to undertake some landscape paintings.
David Gauld was a friend of Charles Rennie Macintosh and his paintings of the late 1880s and early 1890s have a strong Symbolist theme, in particular St Agnes 1889-90, which also shows his interest in stained-glass windows. He designed a number of windows for churches revealing a fine sense of design and lustrous colours. These decorative elements influenced a series of paintings of single heads, nymphs and dryads executed at this time. In the mid 1890s, he visited France and Grez and painted landscapes in restrained colours. His reputation, however, was established with his painting of cattle and calves in landscape, painted freely and alla prima.
While many of these are excellent in their bravura and sense of colour, he later tended to work to a formula, and the later paintings lack the interest of his earlier work. He died in Glasgow aged 71.