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As we approach the end of our highly-acclaimed exhibition, When the Apple Ripens: Peter Howson at 65, join us for an exclusive screening of the documentary Prophecy followed by an in-person Q&A session with Peter Howson.

Directed by Charlie Paul, and produced by Lucy Paul, Prophecy is an intimate exploration of a single oil painting and the first major film to reveal the motive and techniques behind each stroke of paint as the artist creates. Released in 2019, the 90-minute feature documentary plunges the audience into the darkly comic, obsessive mind of Peter Howson, seeing through the artist’s eye. Working from his imagination, Howson draws inspiration from world unrest, religious beliefs and mythology. What begins as a blank canvas, emerges as Howson’s monumental oil painting, “Prophecy”. 

The film sticks deliberately and rigorously to the framework of the painting itself: observing the canvas as it is made and mounted onto a wooden stretcher; the struggle and turbulence of its creation in Howson’s Glasgow studio; its journey through the commercial art world, across the Atlantic to New York for its first public exhibition; the sale and its final destination on the wall of a private art collector in London’s Canary Wharf. The painting is currently on display at When The Apple Ripens.

Inventive filming techniques and hypnotic camera work make the invisible, visible, revealing how the unseen images in the artist’s head are transferred to canvas. Prophecy reveals what it takes to create a large oil painting, the techniques, the materials, the skills, the thinking behind creation, and the intensions and difficulties that push Howson to achieve this ambitious, masterful and detailed 6ft x 8ft canvas.

The making of Prophecy was supported by Creative Scotland.

Peter Howson will be participating in a Q&A session following the screening.

When the Apple Ripens traces the illustrious career of Peter Howson, from his early days to the present, featuring over 100 works over 3 galleries, meticulously assembled from both public and private collections across the United Kingdom and Europe. The exhibition provides a unique opportunity to witness Howson’s artistic journey through works never seen before in public, having been commissioned directly from the artist for private collectors.


The exhibition runs until Sunday 1st October 2023.

Special Documentary Screening of 'Prophecy' and Q&A Session with Peter Howson

Peter Howson in front of a painting

When the Apple Ripens: Peter Howson at 65

Sat 27 May to Sun 1 Oct 2023

A Retrospective

‘What an artist. They’ll be talking about him in a hundred years’ time’ Dr Bendor Grosvenor, TV Presenter ‘Britain’s Lost Masterpieces’ Bringing...

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Figure of a person wearing blue cloths set against a dark mysterious background

Peter Howson - The Formative Years

Friday 29 September 2023, 2:00pm

Lecture in association with the exhibition ‘When the Apple Ripens: Peter Howson at 65 - A Retrospective’

This is part two of a two-day lecture series looking comprehensively at Peter Howson . We recommend you attend both. Alexander Moffat will trace the...

Archived event

This is an archive page for a past event

Find out what's happening now and upcoming in our What's on section.

More info