About this artwork

MacGregor's drawing demonstrates his great facility and boldness as a draughtsman. Here, he used heavy, concentrated strokes of charcoal to depict Stirling Castle and the volcanic rock on which it rests. This drawing was made near the Wallace Monument, and shows the spectacular scenery around the River Forth. The Castle guards the lowest crossing point of the river, and due to its strategic position as 'the gateway to the Highlands', it has been fought over and changed hands more than any other Scottish castle. The area around Stirling Castle was the scene of some of Scotland's most memorable battles in the Wars of Independence, including the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, where Robert the Bruce defeated Edward II of England, re-gaining independence for Scotland.

William York MacGregor

William York MacGregor

MacGregor was one of the leading artists in the group known as the Glasgow Boys, painting landscapes and contemporary scenes in a fresh, direct way, influenced by developments in French painting. With his school friend, James Paterson, a fellow Glasgow Boy, he often painted during summer expeditions out of the city. After studying at Glasgow School of Art and in a local artist's studio, MacGregor attended the Slade School in London under Alphonse Legros. On his return to Glasgow he ran a life class in his studio, which became the regular meeting place for the Glasgow Boys.