Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell (Scottish, 1883 – 1937), The Black Hat, 1914. Oil on canvas. 107.0 x 84.5cm. City Art Centre, CAC210/1964

Capital Collections: Image Library for Collections of Edinburgh’s Libraries and Museums and Galleries

The central figure of a woman in a yellow dress and black hat stands boldly with her hand on her hip. The figure stands to a side profile with her head turned towards the viewer. Wearing a black Torque hat with a large white feather in its peak. The figure stands in a long yellow dress worn by fashionable ladies of the period, her right hand extended. A large mirror hangs above a fireplace that holds two silver candlesticks, an empty blue delft style vase and pink flowers. The mirror holds within its reflection an insight to the interior of the room. The viewer can see within the reflection a wooden door and a partial glimpse of other paintings.

Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell established a position for himself reflecting the middle-class scene of New Town life. The interiors of these beautiful homes were usually as much the subject of his paintings as the sitters themselves. Cadell painted many landscapes, portraits, figure subjects, and still life works with vibrant colour. The rich style of the Black Hat shows the effects of Post-impressionist painting and Edwardian style fashion. The figure is situated in the sumptuous setting of the artist’s home.

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