Arthur Melville was arguably the most innovative and modernist Scottish artist of his generation and one of the finest British watercolorists of the nineteenth century, yet he avoided categorization. In 1943 the Scottish Colourist John Duncan Fergusson confessed that although they never met, "his work opened up to me the way to free painting - not merely freedom in the use of paint, but freedom of outlook".
This book offers a comprehensive survey of Arthur Melville's (1855-1904) rich and varied career as artist-adventurer, Orientalist, forerunner of The Glasgow Boys, painter of modern life and re-interpreter of the landscape of Scotland. His travels inspired spectacular watercolors and paintings. This book illustrates around sixty of his works, each with a catalogue entry, and an essay by Kenneth McConkey, which discusses Melville's art and career.