I understand
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1913 – 1989

Portrait of a Girl
43.2 x 33 cm
Transferred from the Education Resource Service Collection, 2004 © Estate of William Scott 2017. Photography Jerry Hardman-Jones

Scott studied initially in Belfast before winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy in 1931. Having lived in France during the 1930s, Scott spent the war serving with the Royal Engineers. He made less art during this period and disavowed much of it later: ‘I was caught up in the wave of the English watercolour nationalist romantic patriotic isolationist self-preservationist movement,’ he scoffed in 1971.

In the late 1940s, he returned to a more austere and simplified language of form, as evident in this work.