William Geissler (1894-1963) graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 1922 at the same time as his fellow artist William Gillies. Geissler is known as one of the Edinburgh School of painters. He exhibited with other artists associated with the group including William Gillies, William MacTaggart, William Crozier and John Maxwell.
In 1923 Geissler and Gillies, and also Crozier, traveled to Paris to study with the French cubist painter André Lhote. After journeying through France and Italy, Geissler returned to Edinburgh to teach as a part-time drawing tutor and to continue his work. Later he was appointed to the Art Department of Moray House College of Education. He married Alison McDonald, who became a renowned glass engraver.
William Geissler was President of the Society of Scottish Artists from 1954 to 1957. He was a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW).
The setting of this painting, exhibited at the Society of Scottish Artists exhibition in Edinburgh in 1934, is in Dumfries-shire, looking down Dunreggan Brae towards the village of Moniaive. As in many of Geissler’s earlier paintings, the cubist influence of André Lhote is unmistakable. In the painting he uses gouache, both as thin washes and vibrant patches of colour, interspersed with touches of white of the paper, to create a strikingly faithful likeness. A visitor today to Moniaive would be astonished by how little this scene of the village and its surrounding hills has changed in the more than 80 years since this picture was painted.
On the reverse side of the painting is another watercolour by the same artist, entitled The Crow-stepped House, depicting the entrance to a farmstead, and farm buildings.