About this artwork

Hornel has created here a memorable image of delight in the pleasures of nature. The girls are surrounded by an abundance of colourful flowers as they nestle on the forest floor. The thickly applied paint provides a rich, lively texture which catches the light. Hornel painted this type of subject to meet a flourishing demand. The Royal Academy had hoped to buy it for the national collection of British art from the collector Sir Hugh Reid, who had bought the painting immediately on completion. He later presented it to the National Gallery of Scotland.

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  • title: The Music of the Woods
  • accession number: NG 1814
  • artist: Edward Atkinson HornelScottish (1864 - 1933)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Flowers Woodland Glasgow Boys
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1906
  • measurements: 121.00 x 151.10 cm (framed: 165.10 x 195.70 x 16.30 cm)
  • credit line: Presented by Sir Hugh Reid 1934
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Edward Atkinson Hornel

Edward Atkinson Hornel

Hornel as a young artist was closely associated with the Glasgow Boys. This group of artists concentrated on capturing naturalistic light effects especially in their distinctive paintings of figures in landscapes. Hornel's interest in strong colour applied with a palette knife resulted in densely patterned networks of strokes which became a feature of his later work. He collaborated on several decorative paintings with his friend George Henry which reflected their interest in folklore. The two artists also travelled to Japan in 1893. Hornel returned to his adopted home Kirkudbright and concentrated on commercially successful paintings of children in the Galloway countryside.

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