Entrance to the Desert. The Fringe of the Great Desert.

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Arthur Melville
Born Angus, 1858-1904

Entrance to the Desert. The Fringe of the Great Desert, 1881
Watercolour

Original Orchar Collection
Museum number 272-1987-226

Melville is one of the great masters of British watercolour painting. He evolved an original style and technique that influenced a generation of watercolourists.

Melville's signature style evolved during his first visit to the Middle East between 1880-82. He worked into a wet paper, dropping spots of colour onto the surface so that brush marks were almost eliminated. The spontaneity of the final result might give the appearance of being a happy accident but Melville's technique was exacting and meticulously organised. Each effect was considered in advance - often trialled on glass over the work - before the final dashes of colour were committed permanently to paper.

Entrance to the Desert. The Fringe of the Great Desert.
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