Artist: Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell

Date of Birth:
Date of Death:
Place of Death:
Residence in Dumfries & Galloway:

Made frequent visits to Shambellie, New Abbey, home of the Stewart Family. In 1914 he worked on a farm near Dumfries in successful attempt to improve his fitness to join the army.


RSA life school, Academie Julian, Paris

Professional Bodies:

ARSA 1931, RSA 1936

Exhibited At:

RSA, RSW, GI, AAS, Liverpool (Walker Art Gallery)


Founded the Group of Eight 1912. The secretary was his friend C E (Ted) Stewart of Shambellie


The Life and Works of a Scottish Colourist 1883-1937, Tom Hewlett, Portland Gallery in Association with Bourne Fine Art, 1988.


The Boathouse, Kindar was sold at Bonhams, Edinburgh in August 2011.


The Farm, Dumfriesshire oil 30 by 25 inches, possibly painted about 1930 is in Dundee Art Gallery. 


A portrait, possibly of Mrs Patrick Dudgeon of Cargen, is in the Dumfries Museum Collection.  New acquisition at Bourne Fine Art December 1997, The Boathouse, Kindar, 1909, 11 by 12 in.


Image of artist by kind permission of a Private Collector, on loan to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery – Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell, 1883 – 1937 (Self-portrait)

Frances Cadell was born in Edinburgh in 1883 and studied at the RSA Life School and in Paris.  In late 1906 he set off for Munich but before that he had made regular trips to stay with friends particularly in Galloway and Dumfriesshire, one of his favourite haunts being Shambellie House, New Abbey, home of the Stewart family.  Cadell was introduced to New Abbey by Ted Stewart, whose father William owned the Shambellie estate.  As Cadell’s biographer Tom Hewlett has written:  “Bunty treated Shambellie very much like a second home.  He returned frequently to stay with the family, being affectionaely known as “‘Uncle Bunty’ by the young Stewarts and their friends who met him there”.

Cadell’s papers show that in those early years it was the Stewart’s friends around New Abbey who kept him going.  There is, for instance, a fine protrait believed to be of Mrs Dudgeon of Cargen, a nearby house, in the Dumfries Museum collection.  On his return from Munich in 1908 Cadell stayed again at Shambellie where he painted the family’s spaniel and the Shambellie Pug.  In 1912 Cadell founded the Society of Eight, a group of like-minded artists, who rejected the artistic establishment of the day and, whose work was characterised by the use of bright colours.  Ted Stewart was the group’s secretary.  It was in the year 1912 too, that Cadell discovered Iona, the island to which he returned every year after World War I.  But he continuied to visit the South West.  When his application to join the army was turned down in 1914 he spent the next months working on a farm near Dumfries successfully improving his fitness.

Later in life Cadell came to accept the artistic establishment and was elected Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1931 and full member in 1936.  A fine example of his later period is The Farm, Dumfriesshire, painted about 1930 and now in the McManus Gallery, Dundee. Towards the end of his life Cadell’s work did not sell well and he did not die a wealthy man but his friendship with Ted Stewart continued and it was Stewart, who acted as his executor on his death in 1937.