A Quiet Moment in the Shade
James Paterson RSA PRSW (1854-1932)
21 x 14 inches; 53.3 x 35.5 cm.
Signed and dated 1884, inscribed lower left, ‘Richmond’
[Click on image to enlarge it.]
In April 1884 James Paterson and his brother Robert married the Ferguson sisters from Hillhead, Glasgow. As a wedding gift, James received a house in Moniaive, Dumfriesshire which became his base for the rest of his life. A growing reputation as a watercolourist was confirmed the following year when he was elected to the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours. Confident handling of the medium mirrored that of Melville, and was perhaps the by-product of lengthy training in the Paris ateliers.
From his Paris days, Paterson retained friendships south of the border and the present watercolour was painted during a ‘quiet moment’, probably in the spring, and possibly on his honeymoon. The young woman in the picture is therefore likely to be his wife, Eliza (McConkey 24).