The Turn of the Tide

John Duncan

  • Artist

    John Duncan

  • Date


  • Medium

    Tempera on panel

  • Object number


  • Dimensions unframed

    44 × 59 cm

  • Dimensions framed

    57 × 72.5 × 6 cm

  • Marks

    Signed bottom right


John Duncan RSA RSW, 1866-1945

Born in Dundee, Duncan attended evening classes at Dundee School of Art from the age of eleven. He spent seven years working as an illustrator for Dundee newspapers and a further three years in London doing what he called "hack work". He saw his future as a painter. Study in Antwerp under Charles Verlat and then in Düsseldorf was followed by an extended visit to Italy, which had a profound effect on him. On his return he met Patrick Geddes, polymath and leading light of the Celtic Renascence movement, and as a result became deeply involved in Symbolist and decorative painting in its purest form. He had a fertile imagination and exulted in depicting Celtic and Norse legends in a purity and beauty of colour. He also executed landscapes and, later, church altarpieces and wall decorations, and designed stained glass.