In 1939, Scottish artist and sculptor J.D. Fergusson was commissioned to write a fully illustrated book on modern Scottish painting. The Second World War made this difficult and the first edition of Modern Scottish Painting was published in 1943 without illustrations. This new edition - edited, introduced and annotated by Alexander Moffat and Alan Riach - finally brings Fergusson's project to fruition, illustrating the argument with colour reproductions of Fergusson's own work.
Moffat and Riach frame Fergusson's important art manifesto for the 21st-century reader, illuminating his views on modern art as he explores questions of technique, education, form and what it means for a painting to be truly modern. Fergusson relates these aspects of modern painting to Scottishness, showing what they mean for Scottish identity, nationalism, independence and the legacy that puritanical Calvinism has left on Scottish art - a particular concern for Fergusson given his recurring subject matter of the female nude.