About this artwork

In 1831, Simson presented this painting to the recently formed Royal Scottish Academy. Soloway Moss is a lowland peat bog (or moss), just south of the Scottish Border in Cumbria. It was also the scene of the famous 1542 battle between King James V of Scotland and King Henry VIII’s troops. It was a decisive win for the English, despite their vastly inferior number of troops. This tranquil, pastoral view looks out across the ‘moss’ where the sun is setting in the distance. In the foreground a herder lies on the grass, his cattle resting nearby. The warmth of the sunset contrasts with the haunting blues of the right, and the eerie smoke drifting in the middle-distance gives what should be a calm scene, a slight edge of tension.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    William SimsonScottish (1800 - 1847)
  • title:
    Solway Moss: Evening
  • date created:
    Dated 1830
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    66.70 x 94.00 cm; Framed: 90.90 x 118.20 x 7.90 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased by the RSA 1853; transferred and presented 1910
  • accession number:
    NG 308
  • gallery:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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William Simson

William Simson