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Salome with the Head of John the Baptist

Collection: Gray's School of Art Collection
Object Type: Painting
Artist/Maker: Souter, John Bulloch (Attributed to)
Date: 1911
Media/Materials: oil on canvas
Dimensions: overall: 69.4 cm x 63.5 cm


Half length portrait. Student copy after Titian. Thought to be done by John B. Souter on a travelling scholarship whilst studying at Gray's School of Art, Aberdeen (as described in the Governor's minutes 1912 - 1913)
John Bulloch Souter was a painter, draughtsman, printmaker and restorer. He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland where he studied at Gray’s School of Art. A travelling scholarship allowed him to visit the continent, where he was much impressed by Velazquez, Chardin and Vermeer. After serving in the Royal Medical Corps during World War I, he soon married and moved to London. It was during this post-war period that he made his name as a portrait painter; his subjects included such personalities as Ivor Novello, Gladys Cooper and Fay Compton.

This portrait is thought to be a copy completed by John Bulloch Souter whilst on a travelling scholarship during his time at Gray's School of Art.

Current Fine Art degree students would generally stay clear of the concept of copying another artist's work. However, in previous decades, the copying of an artwork was a key element to the training of a painter, who often considered the Old Masters as their true instructors. The process of copying aids to the understanding of drawing, proportion, tone and colour. Students travelled to local and international galleries and museums with the goal of accessing and copying works by he Great Masters. John Bulloch Souter, who was born in Abeerdeen and trained at Gray's School of Art, would have likely been one such artist. Initially, his work concentrated on portraits and Aberdeen street scenes. In 1922 he moved to London and became a fahsionalbe painter, with sitters including Ivor Novello and Gladys Cooper.
Object Number: ABDRG618