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Dr Barbara Rae CBE, RA, RSA, HRE, HRWS, RGI FRCA, FRSE, HFRIAS, Royal Academician painter and master printmaker, is recognised internationally as an outstanding colourist.

Recipient of numerous awards, scholarships, and honorary degrees, her work is exhibited in national museums, and public and private collections the world over. Solo exhibitions include Edinburgh during the International Festival of Arts, to New York, from Dublin to Oslo, from London to Chicago to Taos, New Mexico, and to Mexico itself.

Rae was educated at Morrison's Academy, Crieff in Perthshire, Scotland, studying at the Edinburgh College of Art, later lecturing at Charles Rennie Macintosh’s School of Art in Glasgow after some years as a secondary school art teacher.

In subject matter Rae's studies are of a socio-political nature, traces of human existence and artefacts weathered by time and fortune. She records time passing.

She is not interested in topography. Though pattern and structure in the background can be a dividend enriching the composition it's just as often ignored as incorporated in the image. Her point of departure is the history of a place and its people. Abstract expressionist themes are given maximum intensity: ancient Celtic standing stones bracing ominous dark skies; an abandoned farmhouse in famine racked west of Ireland; old ships in modern docks; ancient Anasazi rock art in the remotest parts of the Arizona Desert; sun-blasted vine terraces on a Spanish hillside. She distils the presence of mankind.

The beauty of her art is often subversive, and she is admired by her contemporaries for her ability to convey an image in a single fluid brush stroke. She works with acrylics and collage for her canvases, never oils.

Rae travels the world in search of inspiration, spending weeks meeting the people of a chosen location, researching local history, all before opening a sketchbook. She develops the studies as prints or paintings in her Edinburgh studios. Her output includes portraits, tapestries, ceramics, jewellery, and even a Royal Mail stamp.

She arrived at art school with her creative voice well formed. No artist influenced her. However, there are artists whose work she admires such as Spanish painters Antoni Tàpies and Joan Miró, as well as the celebrated American abstractionist Richard Diebenkorn, whom she met and befriended.

Definitive books on Rae's oeuvre to date are: 'Barbara Rae – Major Work'; 'Barbara Rae – Prints'; and 'Barbara Rae – Sketchbooks', the last two published by the Royal Academy of Arts, London. This year sees publication of a book on her art emanating from her journeys around the ice floes and islands of the North West Passage.

For further information, interviews, galleries artwork prices and more contact Barbara Rae’s personal assistant at:, or if a general enquiry use the e-mail form provided on this site.