James Pittendrigh MacGillivray

Scottish (1856 - 1938)
James Pittendrigh MacGillivray Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, 1834 - 1921. Architect; designer of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery Dated 1921

Biography

Born 1856
Died 1938
Nationality Scottish
Birth place Inverurie
Death place Edinburgh

James Pittendrigh MacGillivray was a successful and well-known sculptor, poet, painter, printmaker and photographer. Born in the village of Port Elphinstone, Aberdeenshire, MacGillivray trained as a sculptor in Edinburgh and Glasgow. During the 1870s he came into contact with the Glasgow Boys, a group of young artists under whose influence MacGillivray took up painting. In 1886 he married painter Frieda Röhl. Throughout his career Macgillivray mainly worked as a sculptor in bronze, but after the death of his wife in 1910 and his daughter in 1917 he focussed increasingly on poetry and photography. MacGillivray was an outspoken nationalist and a supporter of Home Rule. He was also known for his difficult character which sometimes alienated him from both the public and fellow artists.

Glossary terms

  • A subject in Christian art which shows the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus Christ. It is a particular form of the Lamentation, the moment when Christ’s body was removed from the cross and mourned over by his friends and disciples. The Pietà is most commonly seen in sculpture, but examples also exist in painting and drawing.