Edinburgh galleries to benefit from David Michie’s gift

David Michie with his mother's art from 1944, The  Red Chair. Picture: Julie Bull
David Michie with his mother's art from 1944, The Red Chair. Picture: Julie Bull
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EDINBURGH College of Art graduate David Michie left a £1.4 million fortune to his family and donated works to galleries across Scotland.

Michie, who died aged 86, painted in a bold style similar to that of his mother, the much-loved Scottish painter Anne Redpath.

He was known for his paintings of everyday objects and the landscapes of Scotland and Continental Europe.

His colourful style hinted at the influence of Matisse and the impact of a childhood spent on the French Riviera.

His mother Anne, the daughter of a tweed designer, was best known for her domestic still life paintings.

Michie’s published will has revealed he had amassed wealth of £1,411,806 by the time of his death in August last year.

He bequeathed the bulk of his estate to his daughters, Alison and Lindsey, but asked that a selection of paintings, sketch books, catalogues and other documents be made available to various galleries.

He included the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh City Art Collection, Aberdeen Art Gallery, Perth Museum and Art Gallery, and Heriot Watt University on his list of possible beneficiaries.

Michie asked that his daughters make the final decisions on what material is handed over and to where.

He also included Edinburgh College of Art, Hawick Museum and Art Gallery, and Arts in Healthcare in his list of potential legacies.

Michie was born in 1928 at Saint-Raphaël in the south of France. His father, James Michie, was an architect and painter and in the 1920s worked as a private architect to the American tycoon Charles Thompson.

Michie’s early years were spent living in Thompson’s boathouse at the Château Gloria, St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Later, the vibrant colour schemes of the Côte d’Azur would influence his work.

After Thompson’s fortune was reduced by the Wall Street Crash, the Michies moved to the Scottish Borders in 1934.

Michie attended Hawick Academy before completing his National Service as an instructor with the Royal Artillery Signals. He later enrolled at the Edinburgh College of Art and married his wife Eileen in 1951.

He taught painting during the 1960s and 1970s at Edinburgh and later held the posts of was vice-principal and head of the college’s school of drawing and painting.

Michie taught widely, lecturing at James Clarke’s School in Edinburgh and Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, and was a visiting professor at the Academy of Fine Art in Belgrade and the University of California. He was appointed OBE in 1997.

A spokesman for the National Galleries of Scotland said: “He was both a very talented painter and committed teacher of art, who made an important contribution to Scottish art history.

“We have three wonderful paintings in the collection.”