David Michie

Sketchbook: Italy, 1953-54
David Michie RSA, 1953-54


The collection of sketchbooks in the David Michie bequest serve as a visual diary of the artist’s life, travels, inspirations, and observations. Nearly all of the 130 sketchbooks in the collection are labelled and dated – a gift to research.


This sketchbook accompanied Michie on his 1953 travelling scholarship to Italy and features a diary on its closing pages. He travelled with his close artist friend John Houston RSA (1930-2008), who features in portrait studies from pages 45-51. Although mostly monochromatic, the sketchbook shows an early interest in colour, pattern and costume. The quickly observed figure sketches are a trademark feature of Michie’s sketchbooks.