Serpent's Breath by Alan Davie

This artist's work, redolent of many different cultures, is abstract yet retains intelligible shapes and symbols and contains indications of the energy involved in its creation.


Oil on canvas
122 x 152 cm
Art Fund grant:
£10,000 ( Total: £37,000)
Acquired in:
James Coxon

Although not one of Davie's largest paintings, this is a work of great authority. It combines a variety of techniques, including broad swathes of background colours melded together, clearly outlined bold shapes (usually simply patterned), and areas of great energy and activity where splashing, dripping, and gestural brushwork combine in great intensity. There is also a wide range of colour, from the whites, pinks, and yellows that immediately grab the attention to the subtler combinations of darker tones against which they are set. The range of textures is also impressive, from thick gestural impasto to areas where the texture of the canvas is clearly visible through a thin layer of paint.

Venue details

City Art Centre 2 Market Street, EDINBURGH Edinburgh EH1 1DE 01315 293 993

Entry details

50% off with National Art Pass

Mon - Sun 10am - 5pm
Closed 25 & 26 Dec, 1 & 2 Jan