Barbara Davis Rae CBE RA (born 10th December 1943) is a British painter and printmaker. She is a member of the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy of Arts.
Rae studied painting at the Edinburgh College of Art from 1961 to 1965. As a student, she worked as a grouse-beater in the Scottish Highlands. "I loved being up there walking the hills, seeing the landscape, drawing it," Rae said in a 2013 interview. "Geography was really important to me and it still plays a huge role in my art." After graduating, Rae received a travel scholarship that allowed her to spend time painting in France and Spain. That experience and her later travel shaped her art, which largely focuses on landscapes. She exhibited in her first solo show in 1967 at the Edinburgh's New 57 Gallery. During her early career, she taught art at Ainslie Park School in Edinburgh (1968–69), Portobello High School (1969-1972), and the Aberdeen College of Education (1972–74). In 1975, she became a lecturer in drawing and painting at the Glasgow School of Art, where she worked until 1996.
During this time, Rae exhibited regularly and received many awards for her artwork. In 1980, she was elected as an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy; she became a full member in 1992. In 1983, she was elected president of the Society of Scottish Artists. She was appointed as a member of the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland in 1995.Rae also became a member of the Royal Academy of Art in 1996. In 1999, she was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She is also a Royal Etcher, a Fellow of the Royal College of Art, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Rae's work is held by institutions including the University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, British Museum, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and Whitworth Art Gallery. The first monograph on her work was in its third printing as of 2013.
Rae has homes in Scotland, Los Angeles, and France and often travels elsewhere in Europe and the southwest United States. She is married to writer and essayist Gareth Wardell.