Robbie Bushe RSA, Tenement Alimentation, oil on canvas

John Kinross Scholar in 1990


How did the experience affect you as an individual?
It was the most exciting and influential experience I ever had as an artist up to that date (1990). I had just completed my Postgraduate in painting at ECA, having had some critical and commercial success, but walking the streets, hills, vineyards, visiting, café, museums, churches, studying frescos, drawings, sculpture of the renaissance was mesmerising. It taught me how to record and research in depth – through drawing, annotation, reading, eating, drink and listening – it reminded me that the act of recording and reflecting on the world visually through artworks is no different today as it was back in the renaissance – and to stand by frescos, and seeing the mortal efforts of the greats and the lessor known artists.


What was the impact on your practice?
There is something about the surfaces of renaissance frescos and the mottled and broken colours which poured into my work since my time in Florence which has never left me; that and a better understanding on ways to compose multiple figure composition within panoramic locations – which I do even more now in 2020 than I did in 1990 – 30 years ago.  I learned how to keep a research/drawing/journal/sketchbook which is actually useful later. I still refer to that book now.


Robbie Bushe RSA, Montibenni, RSA Collection

What would you say the long term impact has been on yourself and you work?
It gave me permission to continue to make richly inhabited allegorical paintings and invent characters and environments.