James Gowan (1923, Glasgow – 2015, London)
Fountains Abbey (1973)
Oil on Canvas
Signed ‘James Gowan’ lower left
Inscribed to reverse ‘Fountains Abbey 1973 James Gowan No 199’
The present work exhibits many of the characteristics obvious in his architectural works. There is a very strong architectural composition. The landscape and sky are approached in almost cubist fashion, reminiscent of the Toblerone-shaped roof of the Leicester Building, whilst the figures have a carefree feel to them. And here indeed are the gothic towers and flying butresses that we know inspired Gowan when designing the Leicester Engineering Building, being captured by the brightly-dressed members of an art class, splashes of primary colour in an already colourful landscape.