Norman MacCaig belonged to a generation of outstanding Scottish poets. He was a friend of Hugh MacDiarmid and Sorley Maclean and a mentor to a younger generation of writers. MacCaig wrote in English rather than Scots, his plain words revealing the magical aspects of everyday life and the beauty of the landscapes of Assynt in the Highlands. This portrait shows MacCaig larger than life-size. This increase in scale was the artist’s spontaneous reaction to the striking bony structure of the sitter’s head. The portrait was painted when the artist took up portraiture again after a break of about two years.