Donald Macauley

I was born in Cambridge in 1949 and grew up in the East Anglian countryside. I began painting at school aged 16 and my earliest efforts were semi-abstract but I soon discovered that I wanted above all to paint from life.

I greatly admire many painters, past and present, but as far as I’m concerned, the golden age is the fifteenth century (both Italian and Flemish schools) – there has never been such an extraordinarily high standard of work before or since. If there is any conscious aim behind my own work, it is to attempt to recapture some of the precision and serenity of those early masters.


I grew up in the East Anglian countryside, and have fond memories of the 1950s – wild flowers among the corn, clouds of butterflies, and largely quiet and safe roads – not much private motoring then!

The painting bug bit me at school aged sixteen and in 1968 I eagerly accepted a place at Reading University. I couldn’t have gone at a worse time. The people who ran the department had decided that painting was dead and that anyone who wanted to do it was a misguided eccentric. I survived, thanks to the support and advice of John Wonnacott and Ray Atkins, the only lecturers sympathetic to figurative painting.


I admire many painters past and present but especially the fifteenth-century Italian and Flemish masters- if there ever was a golden age of painting, this is it for me.

If you like my works please contact me.

Current Work 

As the new decade arrives I am working on a painting of a church interior which I hope to finish by easter. Future projects include reworking three Cambridge paintings from the 1970s which never were up to scratch.

There is also, very near to me, a boxing gym which was originally an artisans association social club, with a fascinating Victorian interior. Much to do!

If you are interested, please contact me