Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The Glasgow boys at Kelvingrove

Kelvingrove has a large gallery dedicated to the paintings of the Glasgow boys - a group of painters, who were by no means all from Glasgow, and worked in the decades either side of the turn of the 20th century. In my pick of the gallery, I see I've gone rather heavily for the paintings by E.A.Hornel and his chum George Henry. Hornel was actually born in Australia but was brought up from the age of 2 a few doors down from where I live now in Kirkcudbright. When he was established he bought his own house in the same street called Broughton House (now looked after by the National Trust for Scotland and well worth a visit) where he went a long way to establishing Kirkcudbright's name as an artists' town. Many of the Glasgow boys and other painters, like the Scottish Colourist, Samuel Peploe, visited and painted in the town.

This could be the piece de resistance amongst the Glasgow Boys paintings at Kelvingrove. It is a collaborative work by both Henry and Hornel called The Druids - Bringing Home the Mistletoe. There is quite some grandeur in the frame too and it would be a shame to post the picture without it.

When I was last there, it was mounted quite high on a wall. Now it is very much at head height and you can get a really good look at it.

Here's one I didn't know existed. A second piece by Henry and Hornel. About the same size as the other painting it's Called The Star in the East. Its obviously Christian theme contrasts with the other picture's obviously pagan theme.

The Coming of Spring, typical of the style of painting Hornel is best know for.

Hornel went on a tour of the far east with Henry and much of his painting was influenced by his travels. This might be a British scene but there's a Japanese feel to it.

John Lavery's large and spectacular painting of the Russian Ballerina Anna Pavlova (she was more than just a pudding).

Moonrise by Macaulay Stevenson. I find this very atmospheric.

Another Lavery. This one is A Conquest or A Heart for a Rose. I'm not sure of it's all the one title or these are two titles it has gone under. If it's a conquest, I wonder just who has won.

This painting by James Guthrie has become rather iconic of the Glasgow boys. It's Old Willie - the Village Worthy (apparently he was quite often painted by the artists when they were in Kirkcudbright).

Landscape with Cattle by Joseph Crawhall. You can't go wrong with a does-what-it-says-on-the-tin title - very pleasant for all that.

One of my favourite pictures by George Henry, Japanese Lady with a Fan

To stray from Glasgow for a minute, we saw this picture by George Henry in a display in the City Arts Centre in Edinburgh only two days earlier which also well worth posting here (no pictures allowed there so this one has been snaffled from the BBC). It's there with many more goodies until 8th July and free if you're passing.

There was a complimentary group to the Glasgow boys called, not unexpectedly, the Glasgow girls. Bessie MacNicol was one of them - she worked with Hornel for a time and in many of her pictures you can see a similarity in their styles. 

It was Bessie MacNicol who painted this portrait of Hornel which these days hangs in Broughton house in Kirkcudbright. (picture pinched from Wikipedia)


The Glebe Blog said...

Having a red/green colour deficiency in my eyesight, I've never painted. I've a very good friend who paints, and I'm totally amazed at the amazing skill of artists. What a gift.
By the winning look on the lady's face in 'A Conquest', I guess she's come out on top.
I'm totally confused by the James Guthrie painting. It looks like it says Kirkcudbright 1935 or 6. But James Guthrie died in 1930 and painted the picture in 1886. Explanation please !

Sandy's witterings said...

A time travelling painter - now that would be good. If the next Dr Who turns out to be one James Guthrie then we'll know for sure. I afraid the answer is much simpler Jim. It's not very clear in the reduced size version here but the date on the picture is actually 1886. It's much clearer on Richard Ipaint's painting based on it here