Just off the Isle of Mull on the west coast of Scotland lies the island of Iona, famed for its rare and unspoilt beauty. This was one of Scott's favourite places to work. The white sandy beaches, pure light and extremes of weather offered the artist extraordinary possibilities for rendering landscape. This carefully observed watercolour is a study for Scott's large oil painting of 1887, also in the Galleries' collection. Scott has chosen to depict Port na Curachan (Bay of the Coracle) at the southern tip of the island. It was here in 563 AD that, according to legend, St Columba and his twelve monastic followers landed their coracle after sailing from Ireland.