'La Gloria': A Spanish Wake 1864

On Display Scottish National Gallery

  • Scottish Art
Phillip considered 'La Gloria' to be his masterpiece. Its large scale, moving subject, dramatic lighting and composition, and vibrant colour, all contribute its impact. The body of the dead child, illuminated by candlelight, is seen through the door-way at the left, where the grieving mother sits in deep shadow. Friends try to console her, while the passing of the child's soul directly to heaven is celebrated in the brilliant sunshine. At the time of its purchase in 1897, this was the most expensive painting the Scottish National Gallery had ever bought.

Glossary Open


The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.



  • Acc. No. NG 836
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 145.40 x 219.20 cm (framed: 182.50 x 257.00 x 10.50 cm)
  • Credit Purchased with a contribution from John Ritchie Findlay 1897