Glasgow Museums has a collection of five oil paintings by Scottish artist Bessie MacNicol which date from between 1889 and 1904. MacNicol was born in Glasgow on the 17 July 1869 to a schoolmaster and his wife. She attended Glasgow School of Art from 1887 until 1892 before travelling to Paris to study at the Academie Colarossi. On her return to Scotland, MacNicol took on a studio in St Vincent Street and became closely associated with the circle of Glasgow Boys. In 1896 MacNicol spent time in Kirkcudbright at the studio of E.A. Hornel (1864–1933) and the influence of the Glasgow Boys, such as Hornel and George Henry (1858–1943) can be seen in MacNicol’s bright palette and brush style. MacNicol worked both in oil and watercolours and her favourite subjects were young girls painted en plein air. Her work was regularly exhibited at The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, at the International Society in London, and at various continental and American Galleries. In 1899 she married a fellow artist and established a large studio at the back of their house at Hillhead in Glasgow. MacNicol continued to paint and exhibit until her premature death at the age of 34.
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