Head of Department
Blazing a Trail / Dame Elizabeth Blackadder O.B.E., R.A., R.S.A., R.S.W., R.G.I., D.Litt (British, 1931-2021) Lilies and Mixed Flowers 80.7 x 59 cm. (31 3/4 x 23 1/4 in.) (Painted in 2010)
£10,000 - £15,000
With The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
Private Collection, U.K.
Elizabeth Blackadder, born and raised in Falkirk, Scotland, is perhaps best known for her delicate paintings and drawings of flowers and still life, usually brimming with blooms of various shapes and hues. This may in part be due to her childhood fascination with flowers, when she began collecting local flora, and compiling her specimens by pressing them and labelling them with their full Latin names. Here, the lily stems arch and weave above a sea of reds and purples, their pink flutes raised triumphantly towards all corners of the composition. Her artistic approach broaches the scientific, with her precise and analytical attention to detail, and the simple white background, coming together to create something wholly harmonious, soft, and lyrical.
As the first woman to become an academician of both the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the Royal Scottish Academy, Blackadder was a trailblazer for women in the arts. Through her work as a teacher at Edinburgh College of Art, and fundamentally as an artist, she forged a path into the predominantly male-centric world of art of the 20th Century, where she garnered respect and high acclaim for her output. Blackadder went on to be appointed an Order of the British Empire in 1982, before being made the very first female Artist Limner by the Queen, a position within the Royal Household which is unique to Scotland.