William McTaggart is one of the most outstanding and original landscape painters Scotland has produced. He ranks alongside some of the great names of Scottish painting including Ramsay, Raeburn, Wilkie and Peploe.
A career of consistent development, McTaggart's oeuvre moved from the Pre-Raphaelites to Impressionism through to an acknowledgement of Expressionism. From the early 1880s onwards, he began painting out of doors. Much like the Impressionist paintings he would have been seeing at the time in London, the contents of his works are absorbed by the surrounding landscape.
The sense of energy in the weather - such as in an approaching storm - is evident in his work, through the broad handling of palette knives, variety of brushstrokes, and spattering of paint on the canvas.
This sense of movement and texture , though Impressionist, are qualities which relate much closer to the work of Constable than to the work of Monet, however it is through an acknowledgement of a certain formal Expressionism, that McTaggart finds his poetic vision and transforms the unforgiving west coast of Scotland with the romantic charm his paintings evoke.
Unlike many of his contemporaries, he did not seek out the more lucrative opportunities available to artists in London, but spent his entire career in Scotland.