About this artwork

This work is part of a series of portraits of Scottish poets commissioned by the Scottish Arts Council. At this time in Scotland there existed an outstanding generation of poets which included Sorley MacLean. This is a study for the painting of MacLean which shows him with a landscape of the Western Isles behind him. MacLean was arguably the most significant Scottish Gaelic poet of the twentieth century. Born in 1911 on the Isle of Raasay, MacLean grew up surrounded by Gaelic culture and song. In 1943 year he published his groundbreaking collection of Gaelic poetry, ‘Dain do Eimhir’. Yet his work remained little-known outside the Gaelic-speaking world until the 1970s, when he came to the attention of a wider public by publishing in both Gaelic and English.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Sorley MacLean (Somhairle MacGill-Eian), 1911 - 1996. Poet
  • date created:
    1978
  • materials:
    Pastel on paper
  • measurements:
    45.00 x 34.50 cm (framed: 64.50 x 49.00 x 2.00 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Presented by the Scottish Arts Council 1997
  • accession number:
    PG 3071
  • gallery:
  • depicted:
  • subject:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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Alexander Moffat

Alexander Moffat