About this artwork

This is McCulloch's largest known painting. The scene is probably imaginary, intended to evoke the magnificence of nature, rather than record a specific place. The picture, which has been dated to the 1830s or early 1840s, resembles the broadly painted, although much smaller, romantic views of the Reverend John Thomson of Duddingston. An inscription on the frame of this painting indicates that this landscape was one of a group of paintings commissioned by James Lumsden, Lord Provost of Glasgow, for a public hall in the city. The picture was later incorporated into the interior design of the concert hall of the Glasgow Athenaeum.

Horatio McCulloch

Horatio McCulloch

McCulloch's landscape paintings celebrate the romantic scenery of the Scottish Highlands, emphasising its dramatic grandeur. McCulloch, from Glasgow, was influenced by John Knox's luminous paintings, Sir Walter Scott's vivid prose and the expressive pictures by John Thomson of Duddingston, Edinburgh. McCulloch's summer sketching tours of the West Highlands inspired some of his most powerful paintings, which were created back in the studio. His landscapes combine a magnificent sense of scale with an emotionally charged atmosphere, and contributed to the popular Victorian image of the Highlands. McCulloch also recorded the crumbling houses of Edinburgh's Old Town, and was among the first artists to focus on the urban and industrial landscape of Scotland.