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Henderson, Joseph

Joseph Henderson (1832 – 1908) was born in Stanley, Perthshire and died in Ballantrae, Ayrshire. He was a painter in oil and watercolour of landscapes, genre, portraits and seascapes. Both his sons were also artists, John Henderson (1860 - 1924), and Joseph Henderson(1864 - 1936).

Joseph studied at Trustees Academy from 1849 to 1852, settling immediately thereafter in Glasgow, becoming a well-known and much loved figure in the artistic life of the city and an active member of the Glasgow Art Club.

His early work was mostly in oils and in 1852 he exhibited a ‘Self Portrait ‘ at the RSA. A private commission then launched his career as a professional painter. In 1870, while on holiday at Saltcoats, he met William McTaggart, who encouraged him to turn his attention to seascapes.

Pinnington wrote of Henderson:

 "...he paints the sea of Scottish bays and firths, a living, jubilant, musical sea, which flings a veil of foam over jutting rocks, and throws itself in playful ripples on the sandy, pebbly shore….there is a beauty few painters catch in its changing hues of blue, grey-green within the bay and in the warmer tints borrowed from seaweed in the shallows, and from the greys and umbers of the beach."

He remains one of Scotland’s half forgotten painters who deserves greater recognition than he has hitherto received.

Many of his coastal scenes and seascapes are titled as beach scene, or stormy sea, so it is difficult to be sure which ones are  Arran inspired, although they all conjure up the feel of the Ayrshire Coastline in all its variety.


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