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Six Definitions
© Ian Hamilton Finlay

Reference URL

On Display Modern Two

  • Scottish Art
This was the first sculptural commission undertaken by Finlay for the Scottish National Modern One since 1976. The work is sited in the grounds of Modern Two. It consists of six separate inscriptions in bronze: Temple, Grove, Horizon, Peace, Shadow and Sheep. Each word is accompanied by its definition and a sentence from a literary source. 'Temple' is seen by visitors when they arrive at the Gallery, and introduces the building as a kind of temple of learning. The other five words face visitors as they look out over the Gallery grounds. They suggest tranquillity and an ideal landscape.

Glossary Open


When an individual or organisation employs an artist to execute a particular project, the process and the resulting work are termed a ‘commission’.


Text written on a book, document or artwork. Examples include the added information such as edition number and date on a print, or a dedication written in a book.

Commission, Inscription


  • Acc. No. GMA 4404
  • Medium Series of wall inscriptions, cast in bronze
  • Size Temple, 66.60 x 308.00 cm; Grove, 17.50 x 276.00 cm; Shadow, 17.50 x 342.00 cm; Peace, 17.50 x 292 cm; Horizon, 17.50 x 362.00; Sheep, 17.50 x 276.00 cm
  • Credit Commissioned with the assistance of the Art Fund 2001