William Crosbie studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1932 to 1935. A travelling scholarship took him to Paris, where he worked under Fernand Léger, and took classes in history of art at The Sorbonne and in drawing with Maillol. Crosbie was part of a group of artists and writers who were very active immediately before the Second World War painting portraits. Later in his career it was by working with architects, decorating firms and painting murals that he was able to make a living, and continue to create the paintings that he wanted to paint.
Through his career he excelled in an extraordinary variety of subjects: straightforward landscapes of Scotland, England and France; still life, the female nude, a sort of modern fête champêtre; surrealism; religious painting; portraiture, both intimate and official and the self-portrait.
“As a painter I have always worked in the belief that once you have mastered a technique or perfected a style, that’s the time to stop. Each piece of work should be a fresh beginning as far as possible.” William Crosbie, 1974.