Christopher Meadows (Scottish/British, 1863 – 1947) “The Processional”
Oil on Canvas 28 x 35 inches
Christopher Meadows (CM) was born in England in the County of Leicestershire in 1863 in the village of Hungarton [ also Hungerten]. His parents were John Meadows, who was a Cordwainer, or maker and repairer of fine shoes and Francis Parker, John’s second wife. He was the youngest child and led an ordinary childhood in Hungarton.
At about the age of 16 he moved to Aberdeen in Scotland to live with his half-brother Robert and his sister in law Mary while he attended Aberdeen University to study art.
On completion of his studies in 1883, he moved to Glasgow with Robert and Mary. Although Robert was a merchant and commission agent, according to his marriage certificate, he too was a talented artist, perhaps even more talented than his half-brother CM.
Both Christopher and Robert began exhibiting at the Glasgow Institute of Fine Art, which had been founded in 1861 for the “exhibiting and promotion of works by living artists” and continues to this day. He exhibited annually from 1883 to 1901. In 1901, Christopher showed a painting entitled The village shoemaker, [qv] which was the only one without a sales price. It is thought to have been a portratit of his father John.
He and his brother, Robert, also exhibited at the Paisley Art Institute’s 8th Annual Exhibition in 1883. This Institute was founded in 1876 by a group of local business men including Sir Peter Coats, of J&P Coats Yarns. They also supplied treasures from their own collections to augment the displays. In 1897 CM was awarded the honour of painting the portrait of the Institute’s first Curator Morris Young and he got paid for it.
He had developed connections and friendships from amongst the hunting fraternity, both in England and Scotland and was commissioned to provide portraits of many of the dogs and horses belonging to members. It was through his connections to the Lanark and Renfrewshire Hunt in Houston, Renfrewshire that he met his future wife Ada. Together, they had nine children.
In 1900 he, his wife and his family of four children, moved to Saltcoats in Ayrshire, where, eventually his other five children were born. It was with his prodigious output of work that he was able to support such a large family. It was at this time that he joined a group of fellow artists and formed “The Society of Six”, which comprised George G. Guthrie, Albert Beard, Tom Gilfillan, C.H. Lilley and R. Clouston Young. They exhibited in the local area.
He spent his final years in Largs, a seaside resort on the Ayrshire coast, where he died in 1947.
Apart from animals Chris Meadows was noted for his landscapes, seascapes and flowers, especially roses. His renditions of sky, sea and water generally, were always noteworthy.