About this artwork

This is one of the earliest known representations of the landscape of the Western Isles of Scotland. The painting shows the newly built port of Stornoway on the island of Lewis, with a view of the inner harbour looking across the bay. A fleet of herring ships, a clipper, and the grazing cattle and sheep, together convey the growing prosperity of a town rapidly becoming the most important port in the north west of Scotland.

James Barret

James Barret

James Barret inherited the post of Master Painter at Chelsea Hospital, London, from his father George Barret, a landscape painter. His two brothers and his sister were also artists. He specialised in landscapes and travelled to Wales and to Scotland in search of picturesque sights. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, London, from 1785 until 1819 and always gave a London address. His views from Scotland include the first known depictions of the landscapes of the Western Isles as well as Loch Lomond, Aviemore and Balnagowan.