Barry Atherton’s long series of portraits of contemporary Scots is, in a sense, both local and universal.
His subjects are his contemporaries: they are painters, sculptors, historians, journalists, politicians and
students. The visual likenesses of these sitters are embedded in dense biographical contexts, the result
of a meticulous and sensitive research into the activities and interests of his sitters. However, these
pictures are also constructed with a creative and learn-ed reference to precedents in the history of
portrait painting. They are packed with information about the sitter but in a form reflecting contemporary
questions about the ‘construction’ of identity. They will form a rich contribution to the assembly of the
National Biography.

Peter Bevan, Glasgow School of Art


2013 Glasgow Scool of Art: A History Painting 
2013 Professor Seamus McDaid CBE, Principal and Vice Chancellor, UWS
2012-2013 Peter Bevan, (Painter/ Sculptor)
2011 Peter Chang (jewellery designer) Barbara Santos Shaw (textile designer)
2009 Alexander Moffat: Interior Landscapes
2009 David Pratt: The Great Game
2009 Professor Bob Beaty, Chairman of the University Court, University of the West of Scotland
2008 Ray McKenzie: Urban Development
2008 Paul Reid: A Real Allegory (Odysseus on the Island of Circe)
2008 Steven Campbell: Battle of Myths! The Green Man/The Tree Man
2007 Professor Tony Joyce, Chairman of the University Court, University of the West of Scotland
2007 Jimmy Reid: Seventy-Five Years
2005 Kenny Hunter: Feedback Loop
1996 Celia Urquhart, Chairman of the University Court, Glasgow Caledonian University
1990-2003 Alexander Stoddart
1994 Emeritus Professor Hamish Wood, Glasgow Caledonian University
1993 Dr Stephen Newall, Chairman of the University Court, Strathclyde University, Glasgow
1992 Julia Somerville News at Ten, Alexon and Vogue Magazine
1989 John and Adele Godoy Quinn: Chilean Exile
1989 John Quinn: Portrait of a Socialist
1988 Susan Steele: Portrait of a Painter
1987 Stuart Johnston: Portrait of a Draughtsman



  • Barry and Linda Atherton explore the ‘blotesque’ technique of Arthur Melville (1858-1904)
    for the Glasgow Boys 1880-1900 exhibition, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow
    DVD available to schools

Barry Atherton

Glasgow School of Art: A History Painting