Off St Andrews

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Off St Andrews Dated 1856

On Display Scottish National Gallery

  • Scottish Art
This dramatically lit scene shows a view just off the harbour of St Andrews, looking back towards the town. The remains of the ruined Cathedral can be seen perched on the hill. They form a backdrop to the foreground drama of the fishing boat venturing out into the turbulent waters of St Andrews Bay, notorious for its heavy swell and frequent shipwrecks. Benefitting from improvements in rail connections across Scotland, Bough made frequent excursions to the coastal towns and villages of the East Neuk of Fife from the 1850s to the 1870s. This painting was completed in 1856, the same year that Bough was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy.

Glossary Open

Royal Scottish Academy

The Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) was formed in Edinburgh in 1826 by Scottish artists who felt alienated by what they perceived as the elitism of the Royal Institution and its management of contemporary art exhibitions. In 1835, the RSA secured exhibition rights in the Royal Institution building, which had been erected on The Mound by the Board of Manufactures in 1826. The RSA and the Board frequently argued over responsibilities for advanced art education. From 1859, the RSA shared the premises of the new National Gallery of Scotland under the Board’s custody. In 1910, after transferring most of its art collections to the Gallery, the RSA gained exclusive tenancy of the former Royal Institution building, where it continues to hold large-scale annual exhibitions.

Royal Scottish Academy


  • Acc. No. NG 1475
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 36.20 x 45.80 cm (Framed: 63.50 x 73.70 x 11.50 cm)
  • Credit Bequest of Dr. John Kirkhope 1920