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Repairing the Bicycle

Burrell Collection Photo Library

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Repairing the Bicycle

Repairing the bicycle c 1889, by John Quinton Pringle (1864-1925).

From Pringle produced a series of paintings between 1886 and the early 1890s depicting Glasgow backcourts. This one depicts his brother Barclay Pringle with a cross-framed safety bicycle, probably in an East End backcourt.

Born in Annfield Street in Bellgrove, Pringle moved to Langbank in 1869 when his father became stationmaster there. The family later returned to Glasgow and at the age of twelve, Pringle was apprenticed to an optical repairer in London Road. In 1885, while still an apprentice, he won a bursary to attend evening classes at Glasgow School of Art. He continued with the classes for many years, and for a while also attended early morning classes which began at 7 am. In 1891 he won the Gold Medal for Life Drawing in the National Competition run by the Department of Science and Art, South Kensington, London.

Pringle decided not to work as a professional artist because he did not want to compromise his art and instead opened an optician's shop in the Saltmarket in the 1890s. He continued to paint on his own terms for the rest of his life.

Reference: 3214

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums

Keywords:
art classes, artists, backcourts, bicycles, Department of Art and Science, early morning classes, evening classes, Glasgow School of Art, oil paintings, opticians, sheds



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