Autumn Showers is a small version of a painting made in 1889, and illustrated opposite page 120 of James Caw, William McTaggart: James Maclehose & Sons, 1917. It was made after the artist’s return to Broomieknowe from a productive summer in Southend in Kintyre. He had moved in the spring to his new house Deanpark in the village just seven miles south of Edinburgh. The move heralded a happy time and over the next twenty years his work was divided equally between sea and coastal work and landscape. His first biographer James Caw also identifies how from this time his work displays a ‘unified pictorial expression’ wherein the human interest and the landscape are perfectly complementary. McTaggart knew every lane and byway through the fields around his home and walking the landscape quickly fed the new subject matter of rolling countryside. Our picture is dated 1891 so he must have revisited the subject (as he often did) three years later but the same three little girls hunker down by the dirt roadside, one examining a bird’s nest, while the landscape of fields rolls away and a sky, worthy of Constable, promises sunshine and showers.
Signature: signed and dated lower left
Private collection, Tomintoul