John Rankine BARCLAY

John Rankine BARCLAY

Born in Edinburgh, he began work as an engraver, then became a student at the Royal Scottish Academy Schools in 1908, winning the Guthrie award (c1911) and a Carnegie Travelling Scholarship.  

Barclay moved to Cornwall in 1935, living at Zennor, and was known for his decorative and mural paintings. "A sincere impressionist", French Impressionism was a great influence on him.  He was a versatile artist, also producing woodcuts and book illustrations, and his work included landscapes, London parks, Cornish harbour and moor scenes.

Barclay rejoined STISA after WWII and was elected to its Council, becoming the Secretary in 1959 and retiring shortly before his death.  When assisting Fuller at the St Ives School of Painting, he proved to be a kind critic and encouraging to newcomers.


Painter of murals; wood-cut artist, illustrator and teacher; engraver

works and access

Works include: Zennor village; A Cornish Scoutmaster (1936)

Access to Work: Public Collections include Penzance (on loan), Stoke and St Ives

Murals at St Ives Bay Hotel and for Curnows Restaurant (later given to Town Museum)


GI, RA, RSA (52), RSW

Penlee House Faces of Cornwall (Portraiture Exhibition) 2005


STISA 1936-39 and 1955-64 (Secretary 1959)


St Ives Times 8 Sep1939

Buckman (2006) Dictionary of Artists in Britain since 1945

Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (pp312-3)

Johnson & Greutzner (1975) Dictionary of British Artists

Mallett's Directory;


Tovey (2000) GF Bradshaw & STISA (Appendix 3: Principal Members of STISA 1927-1960)

Tovey (2003) Creating a Splash

Whybrow (1994) St Ives


Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly: Oil Paintings in Public Ownership