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Oil on canvas board, 29.2 cm x 40.8 cm, signed lower right: "Archibald Kay". A gallery label (T. & R. Annan & Sons Ltd, 518 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, C.2) on reverse of the lime-washed gilt gesso frame is inscribed:  "'Near Florence', Oil Painting by Arch. Kay R.S.A." A damaged autograph label on the reverse of the board is signed and inscribed: "... Vign... Florence... Archibald Kay RSA. RSW. ...Terrace... gow C3." Price: £520.

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Archibald Kay - "Near Florence"

A cold, bright winter sun slants through russet vegetation and evergreen cypress trees as a shepherd steers his flock along a bank of raised ground alongside a dappled watercourse swollen by recent rain.

Trained in Glasgow and Paris, Archibald Kay made his name with depictions of the valleys, rivers, moors and woodland streams of his native Scotland, but he also worked in Belgium, Holland, France and Italy. His style was much influenced by the Dutch School. On the back of the frame, a label belonging to photographers and fine art dealers T. & R. Annan & Sons Ltd of 518 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, is inscribed with the title "Near Florence".

It is not too fanciful to glimpse, at the base of the hazy distant valley enclosed by hills, just a suggestion of the flat, sprawling Tuscan capital. 


A further label - damaged and only partly decipherable - on the verso of the board appears to give a more precise location of the scene. Written in the artist's hand, it reads: "... Vign... Florence..."

The same label is signed, and inscribed with the artist's address in Glasgow: "... Terrace... gow C3". The Glasgow postal district "C3" corresponded to the area covered by today's "G3" postcode. This dates the work to no earlier than 1923, the year when the Glasgow postal districts were introduced.

T. & R. Annan & Sons
T. & R. Annan & Sons moved into their purpose-designed premises at 518 Sauchiehall Street in 1903/4. The firm was to continue trading at the same address until 1959.

Click on image for larger size​

Click on image for larger size​

Click on image for larger size​

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