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Born in Newcastle in 1861, Joseph Crawhall developed a reputation as a first class animal painter. He began his training in Glasgow, during the period 1880-1900 and has therefore since been traditionally grouped with the artists known as the Glasgow boys, who rebelled against the minutely detailed and resolved style which was then so fashionable in society. Instead, Joseph Crawhall and the rest of the Glasgow Boys focused on light, colour, design and composition. Hence in 1884 Joseph Crawhall travelled to Morocco and Spain where he spent nine years exposed to a climate which lent itself to water-colour.
Joseph Crawhall specialised in depicting animals and birds, although in many of his paintings, figures are also present. Although patient in his analysis of his subject, Joseph Crawhall´s sense of humour is also frequently exposed, capturing both appearance and personality. In addition, Joseph Crawhall had the ability to conjure up an entire image through the use of a few spontaneous brushstrokes. As Sir John Lavery said, No artist I have known could say more with fewer brush stokes.
Joseph Crawhall´s work is in both private and public collections, including the Burrell Collection and the Glasgow Museums. He exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1883 and 1894 and has exhibited on several occasions in Glasgow. He died in London in 1913.