British Art

John Duncan (1866-1945)

John Duncan was born in Dundee, Scotland, the son of a cattle dealer, and was studying at the Dundee School of Art by the age of eleven. in 1923.

He was a great experimenter with techniques and much of his work is in tempera. His subject-matter was rooted in the Celtic Revival and the Pre-Raphaelite tradition, but he also painted 'straight' landscapes.

Many regarded him as a mystic, and he confessed to hearing 'fairy music' while he painted. This rather fay quality led him into trouble when he fell in love with and married a girl who believed she had discovered the Holy Grail in a well at Glastonbury; the marriage was not a success and his wife eventually left him.

Mary Queen of Scots



Tristan and Isolde (1912)

Tristan has been sent to Ireland to conduct Iseult to Cornwall, where she is to marry his uncle, King Mark; but on the voyage they unwittingly drink the love potion intended for Mark, and fall passionately in love, with devasting results.