About this artwork

Joseph Crawhall was part of a group of artists known as the Glasgow Boys. Despite having had little formal training, he developed his natural talents under the influence of artists such as James Guthrie and E.A. Walton. After abandoning oil-painting in the mid-1880s, Crawhall became one of the most accomplished watercolourists of his generation. He specialised in animal subjects, mainly horses and birds, and also painted a large number of watercolours in Morocco between 1884 and 1893. This portrait medallion in bronze was made by Glasgow artist MacGillivray. As a poor young sculptor he could not afford to hire models, so instead asked his fellow artists to sit for him. Between 1881 and 1896 he depicted at least eight of his friends, this medallion being one of the earliest attempts.

James Pittendrigh MacGillivray

James Pittendrigh MacGillivray

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.