Arthur Chrystal (1904-1978) was a painter and engraver who lived and worked in Montrose, on the east coast of Scotland.
In the 1920s to 1940s, local architect George Fairweather’s studio provided a forum for lively debate by an artistic community that included Hugh MacDiarmid (1892-1978), editor and reporter of the Montrose Review and founding member of the Scottish National Party in 1928; Edwin Muir (1887-1959), poet and novelist; William Lamb (1893-1951) sculptor and artist; Helen Cruickshank (1886-1975) poet; Fionn MacColla (1906-1975), novelist and also founding member of the Scottish National Party in 1928. MacDiarmid and MacColla were also closely connected to the Scottish Renaissance, an artistic movement in the early to mid-20th century that displayed a profound interest in modern philosophy and technology, as well as incorporating folk influences, and a strong concern for the fate of Scotland’s declining languages.
Arthur Chrystal exhibited ten works at the Royal Scottish Academy during his lifetime and two at the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts. He also exhibited at the Aberdeen Artists Society, an organisation formed in 1827 for ‘the promotion of Art in the Northeast of Scotland and the placing of Aberdeen as a culturally relevant centre for the arts.’
Chrystal’s work is represented in the collection of the Aberdeen Art Gallery including a print titled ‘Arran’, completed in 1925.
Other work by Chrystal can be found in the Angus Council collection (‘Portrait of Vivian Douglas’ and ‘September morning, St Cyrus’) and an oil painting ‘Edinburgh from Inverleith’ was acquired in 1940 as part of the Livingstone Collection for Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres. It hangs at the Edinburgh Centre. An engraving titled ‘Edinburgh’ (limited edition 3/30) was auctioned in June 2020 by Greenslade Taylor Hunt auctioneers.