About this artwork

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 National Gallery of Scotland had ever bought.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    John PhillipScottish (1817 - 1867)
  • title:
    'La Gloria': A Spanish Wake
  • date created:
    1864
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    145.40 x 219.20 cm (framed: 182.50 x 257.00 x 10.50 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased with a contribution from John Ritchie Findlay 1897
  • accession number:
    NG 836
  • gallery:
  • subject:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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John Phillip

John Phillip