On the Firth of Clyde

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On the Firth of Clyde


  • Scottish Art
In this view of the Firth of Clyde, the ruined castle on the river bank is set against the backdrop of Dumbarton Rock and the distant Cowal Hills. Thomson’s rocky cliffs, stormy waters and crumbling castles contributed to the early nineteenth century romantic vision of Scotland. He was hailed as the first landscape painter to express the true spirit of the Scottish scenery, which diverged from the more restrained classicism of the early landscapes by his former master Nasmyth. This picture was painted with thick, energetic brushstrokes, especially in the choppy river. The white spray of the tumultuous water provides a dramatic barrier between the viewer and the spectacular castle looming in the background.

Glossary Open


Refers to artworks that emphasise drama and emotion.



  • Acc. No. NG 461
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 63.50 x 96.50 cm (framed: 99.50 x 134.00 x 12.00 cm)
  • Credit Bequest of Professor James Pillans 1863