Born in Galashiels in Scotland, Anne Redpath was the daughter of a tweed designer who helped foster her interest in pattern. Starting in 1913, she studied at Edinburgh College of Art, receiving her diploma in 1919. She was awarded a postgraduate travelling scholarship which enabled her to travel to Bruges, Paris, Florence and Siena and she developed a particular interest in Italian fourteenth-century painting. Following her marriage to James Michie, an architect, in 1920, she moved to Pas-de-Calais and then to the south of France in 1924. In 1934, she returned to Hawick where she painted prolifically, concentrating on landscapes of the Scottish border and studio interiors. Before long she was exhibiting in Edinburgh and from 1942 onwards her palette became more vibrant and her work started to show a trend towards abstraction.
Redpath was president of the Scottish Society of Women Artists from 1944 to 1947. She was also elected an associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1947, becoming the first woman to be elected a full member in 1952. She exhibited regularly at the Royal Scottish Academy, the Royal Glasgow Institute and the Royal Academy. From 1950 onwards she travelled extensively throughout Europe and, inspired by these travels, she started painting scenes of Mediterranean life, adopting more intense colours in her work. She was awarded an OBE in 1955 and, in that same year, was awarded an honorary doctorate from Edinburgh University. During her lifetime, Redpath exhibited more than four hundred works at public exhibitions, the majority of this work produced between 1950 and 1965. Her reputation has been further enhanced by retrospective and centenary exhibitions and she is now established as one of the great figures of twentieth-century Scottish painting.