About this artwork

Guthrie first settled at Cockburnspath in May of 1883. The village and surrounding countryside allowed him to paint the landscape in the open air, and he attempted to form an artist’s colony in the Berwickshire village, much like his French compatriots had established at Barbizon and Grez-sur-Loing. Most of the Glasgow Boys resided here for short spells between 1883 and 1886. During the summer months it was customary to see artists dotted all around the village with their easels pitched up underneath large umbrellas. Guthrie made several studies in his sketchbooks of the sheep that he saw grazing in the fields around the village. This painting shows Guthrie's square solid brush strokes loosening and becoming more fluid, perhaps under the influence of Whistler. The blurring of the forms of the sheep and shepherd effectively conveys a sense of movement.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Pastoral
  • date created:
    1885
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    64.70 x 95.30 cm (framed: 85.10 x 115.70 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    James Gardiner 1902 Purchased 1944
  • accession number:
    NG 2018
  • gallery:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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Sir James Guthrie

Sir James Guthrie