Windows in the West- Scotland’s Second Favourite Painting

Windows in the West is one of Scotland’s favourite paintings and is very popular because it depicts tenement life in Glasgow. On 11 January 1993 at 5.30 pm there was a very heavy snowstorm which left the area transformed and inspired Avril Paton to depict this wonderful scene.

The area is Saltoun Street in Glasgow’s West End and is viewed from Athole Gardens. It took the artist almost six months to complete and she brilliantly captures the glowing interiors against the darkness outside and the bright whiteness of the snow. Even the sky has the lilac-pink hue often seen after a snowstorm.

In the many flats people are going about their everyday lives and the real-life characters include the writer Bernard MacLaverty and the journalist Roddy Forsyth. Children are playing, food is being prepared and people are arriving home.

Glasgow Museums purchased the painting in 1994 and also own another Avril Paton work, The Barras. The artist lives and works in Arran.

Windows in the West reached second place (Salvador Dali was first) in the Herald’s poll for Scotland’s favourite painting. You can see it today in the Art Discovery Centre in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.

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