Book of the Month August 2023: Scotland and the Origins of Modern Art

In the month of the Edinburgh Festival – the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art – we’re delighted to have as our August Book of the Month Duncan Macmillan’s long-anticipated new book Scotland and the Origins of Modern Art – now 20% off with code MONTH20 until the end of August. 


A discussion of sensibility, sensation, perception and painting, Scotland and the Origins of Modern Art is an original work which argues that the eighteenth-century Scottish philosophy of moral sense played a central role in shaping ideas explored by figures such as Cézanne and Monet over one hundred years later.

Proposing that sensibility not reason was the basis of morality, the philosophy of moral sense gave birth to the idea of the supremacy of the imagination. Allied to the belief that the imagination flourished more freely in the primitive history of humanity, this idea became a potent inspiration for artists. The author also highlights Thomas Reid's method in his philosophy of common sense of using art and artists to illustrate how perception and expression are intuitive. To be truly expressive, artists should unlearn what they have learned and record their raw sensations, rather than the perceptions that derive from them.

Exploring the work of key philosophical and artistic protagonists, this thought-provoking book unearths the fascinating exchanges between art, philosophy and literature during Enlightenment in Scotland that provided the blueprint for modernism.


Get your copy of the book HERE and apply code MONTH20 for 20% off! 


Continuing the Scottish theme...

Duncan Macmillan’s newly updated monograph on Scottish artist Elizabeth Blackadder is also released this month, to coincide with two new exhibitions of her work in Edinburgh.
FIND OUT MORE about the exhibitions. 

And we’re thrilled to announce that John Brennan’s book Scotland’s Rural Home was a prize-winner in the inaugural Architecture Book Awards.’
FIND OUT MORE about the prize.