Robert Gemmell Hutchison was born and educated in Edinburgh. He began work as a seal engraver, although his real love was painting and he later studied art at The Board of Manufacturers School of Art. Hutchison developed a distinctive, broad and vigorous style. He specialised in painting children and genre scenes within interiors, Scottish landscapes and his much sort after and highly desirable picturesque shore scenes.
Hutchison was soon recognised by the art fraternity and became one of the most prolific exhibitors of his day. He was elected to many prestigious academies throughout the British Isles, including; The Royal Society of British Artists, The Royal Institute of Oil Painters, The Royal Society of Painters in Watercolour and The Royal Scottish Academy. Hutchison was awarded a medal for his work in 1903. There are close similarities between his work and some of the Glasgow School of Painters, in particular in his use of broad brushstrokes and soft, mute colouring.
Coastal views are most effective on a large scale, an inspiration Hutchison would have drawn from William McTaggart, and the younger artist was instructed by him at the Trustees’ Academy in 1877 alongside notable contemporaries such as Arthur Melville and Patrick William Adam. Hutchison loved to paint girls on the shore and often called on his daughters and their friends, whether he was working in East Lothian, Carnoustie or Berwickshire. Many pictures feature the same models and poses, and this work is a synthesis of his best compositions.
After 1900 he achieved a distinctive niche with his light, airy coastal views, and a Gold Medal awarded at the Paris Salon for ‘Bairnies Cuddle Doon’ confirms that his style had a resonance beyond Scotland.
Royal Academy, Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Institute,
Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Grosvenor Gallery, Arlington Gallery,
Royal Society of Art, Manchester City Art Gallery,
Walker Art Gallery Edinburgh, Royal Scottish Academy, Glasgow Institute.