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Art in Scotland
Chapter II


THE gradual spreading of religion in Scotland developed the growth of religious communities, and in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries masons, carvers, and painters were at work on many a monastery and abbey, from whence a love and admiration for art spread abroad, culminating in the noble cathedrals with their internal decorations of a later period. The early monasteries, unlike what they were when corruption had crept into their recesses some centuries later, were great and useful agencies in the civilisation of the country, giving a home to the peaceful and studious monks, gathering round them the extensive granges which afforded a dwelling-place to the serfs or carls who tilled the land, and wherein were kept their stores and implements; the mills driven by wind or water; and the hamlets of the cotters and others more or less mutually dependent with the monastery or abbey. In the monastery itself, the lamp of knowledge was kept from fading entirely throughout ages of dense intellectual darkness. Within the quiet seclusion of its cloisters, youths were educated for the services of the State as well as for the offices of the Church; and, besides being almost the only proficients in reading and writing, the monks may be said to have possessed exclusively any knowledge of mechanics, gardening, and architecture.[Dalrymple's Annals, &c.] The construction of one of the great abbeys, such as that of Kelso or Jedburgh, came to be of such importance, that not unfrequently one century was insufficient for its completion; and thus the inmates or natives, either instructed abroad or by working alongside of the more skilful craftsmen from another district, or perhaps even another country, could not fail to get educated so as to become artists themselves. Not only did the monks illuminate their gospels and other manuscripts, carve their stalls and screens, but they also very probably designed their cathedrals, as it is to be noted that, abroad as well as at home, the names of the original designers or architects of these are never mentioned in contemporary records.

The earliest as well as the highest efforts of art have in all countries in times past been devoted to the services of religion, erecting the noblest edifices which were possible for divine worship, and creating aids to personal devotion. Few traces of our earlier artists, and seldom even their names, have survived till the present day; but that there were some, we have sufficient evidence in the existence of a few works which have escaped the effect of time, the ravages of wars in which nearly every town experienced sacking and burning, and the more destructive violence of religious reformers, besides occasional references in contemporaneous documents. Scotland at an early period in her history must have reached a much higher state of civilisation than the superficial reader of history sometimes too hastily assumes, and was in many respects probably not very far behind some other countries of more pretentious assumptions. When St Louis of France projected his crusade in the thirteenth century, the Earl of Pol, one of his nobles, had a large ship of the kind called navis miranda built at Inverness, for the purpose of conveying the horses and accoutrements of his men-at-arms—thus implying a certain amount of skill in at least some of the natives. Some foreign workmen were sent to assist or direct the work, and it is probable that the advantage of the locality in the possession of the necessary timber led to the construction there of such ships. [Cosmo Innes.] The seals of our early kings and prelates are frequently of high quality as works of art, showing considerable skill in the treatment of the figure, alone or in combination with traceried ornament. The coins of the early moneyers of Berwick, Perth, and Edinburgh are very little more rude in their art than those of England of the same period; but those minted in the reign of James V. are of very high quality, and there is no reason for assuming that they are not the results of native skill, although Bonaccio of Florence is known to have executed some of the gold pieces of Robert III. Of stained glass, almost the only fragments left in Scotland are those pertaining to the old Maison Dieu  [Church of S. Mary Magdalene, Cowgate.] Edinburgh, containing the Scottish arms and those of the Queen Regent, Mary of Guise, encircled respectively by a wreath of thistles and laurel, with other armorial bearings, and the figure of St Bartholomew, who has strangely escaped from the destruction of his brother apostles there in 1559. In these fragments, while the figure is inferior to the other parts, the deep ruby and bright yellow on the Royal arms exhibit traces of a bold broad manipulation and richness of colour, showing a good appreciation of the old glass-stainer's work. [Dr Wilson's Memorials of Edinburgh; and the Proceedings of the Scottish Society of Antiquaries.] Of the art of wood-carving, of which we have comparatively few important examples left, those of the sixteenth century in Dunblane Cathedral, King's College (Aberdeen), and the church at Fowlis Easter, are evidences of Scottish skill in this department: also with these may be instanced the remains, among other fragments, from the private oratory of Mary of Lorraine, several of which were adopted as models for the carved work in the interior fittings of the present Dunrobin Castle. To the numerous and tasteful examples of baronial architecture which are scattered all over the country it is unnecessary to refer; but it is only reasonable to suppose that when so much skill and love for art was bestowed on the exterior, the equally important internal decorations would not be quite neglected. Neither was the sculptor's art unappreciated in the baronial edifices of Scotland, although we seem to have few remains of such. At Linlithgow Palace, for instance, are several figures of angels, which for spirit and execution will compare favourably with any similar work of the period north of the Alps.

Of the more specific subject of painting it is not surprising that the destructive causes already mentioned should have left us scarcely any specimens, and we are therefore compelled in too many cases to be content with the mere mention of the former existence of such in records and inventories which have been preserved by antiquarian zeal. It must be recollected that the old artist in Scotland, as in many other countries, did not follow his art in the distinct form in which it came to be recognised at a later and in our present time. He might paint a portrait, coat of arms, or altar-piece, or decorate and gild a wall or ceiling; and it would not be surprising to find that the painter of some highly prized devotional picture should also have been employed to carve and paint "the auld stock image" which Sir David Lindsay tells us was borne annually through the streets of Edinburgh by priests and friars, accompanied

"With taibrone, trumpet, schalme, and clarion,"

till destroyed by the populace in one of its peregrinations, when, in the words of Knox, "one took the idol by the heels, and dadding his head to the street, left Dagon without head or hands." [Tytler's Scotch Worthies.]

The early penmen and miniaturists practising their art in the quiet of the monastic scriptorium were considered a separate body, and when the early guilds were formed in Italy, France, and Flanders in the fourteenth century, the penmen were not included. To the works of the early miniaturists, now so carefully treasured in the cabinets of the wealthy connoisseur, we no doubt owe the development of the very early taste for painting in Scotland as in several other countries; and in one of these still preserved at Floors Castle, we have what may safely be considered the oldest specimen of the painter's art in the kingdom. This is the charter in which Malcolm IV. ratifies the endowments of his grandfather, David I., to the Tironensian Abbey of St Mary the Virgin and St John the Evangelist, of Kelso, which was founded by that "sair sanct for the Crown." [Facsimiles in Anderson's Diplomata, 1739; and Bannatyne Club, 1846.] In this magnificent charter, undoubtedly the finest in Scotland in point of writing and illuminating now existing, the Gothic initial of the king's name is made to form, by its two semi-elliptical sides, borders containing two figures, the central bar of the M being formed of intertwined serpents. Within the first of these compartments is represented an aged monarch arrayed in a crimson mantle against a blue background, throned and crowned, and bearing in his hands a sword and the globe of sovereignty. 'Within the other is a young beardless king, also throned and crowned, cross-legged, robed in red, with a green mantle against a red ground, bearing in his hand the sceptre of dominion, and the sword of office resting across his knees, the whole being enriched with gold. The charter is dated 1159, and there is no doubt that these are meant for portraits of the reigning prince and his grandfather, the latter having died six years before, and Malcolm being then in his seventeenth year. Whether this and the charters written in the succeeding reign, which are of remarkable elegance, are the result of native skill educated in Scotland or in France, it is impossible to determine: the only penman whose name is mentioned about that period is that of "Stephen the Writer," which appears as witness to a deed in connection with the Abbey of Kelso.

Of a rather earlier period than this, there is preserved in the Advocates' Library a Jerome's Latin Bible, illuminated on vellum, containing paintings of sacred and other subjects, which serves to show that even at that early period the services of the Church in Scotland were not destitute of art. There is no reason, however, for supposing that this is the work of a native artist, the tradition being that it was brought from Canterbury by the Abbot Gaufrid, at the date of the foundation of the Abbey of Dunfermline in 1124, in which abbey it was in use till its destruction in 156o, when Abbot Drury carried it to France, as happened with many other similar Scottish art-treasures. It subsequently came into the possession of Mons. Foucalt, at the sale of whose collection it was bought by a patriotic Scot and gifted to the Library in which it now is. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries such works were not uncommon in the religious services, many of which were undoubtedly the work of native artists. A richly illuminated Psalter of the fourteenth century, said to be executed by the monks of Dulce Cor, is still preserved at Kirkconnel [In possession of Mr Withom.] and there may be also further mentioned the Psalter of the parish church of St Ternan of Arbuthnott, and the Liber Bead Terranani, a folio of two hundred and forty-six leaves of vellum, enriched by initials, and miniatures with well-designed borders of familiar Scottish flowers and fruits, tolerably well executed, in addition to a pontifical figure of St Ternan. The Liber as well as the Psalter was written by James Sibbald, at the cost of Robert Arbuthnott, who died in 1560, in which family it still remains. A later hand has written the following inscription: "Nota obitum Domini Jacobi Sibbald quondam Vicarii de Arbuthnot Scribe publici satis correcti testantibus. Missalibus huius ecclesie Sancti Terrenani: xj Kalendas Septembris anno Domini Mmo Vcvijmo," &c. A record in the Register House at Edinburgh mentions six missals which had belonged to Queen Mary having been burned by the hands of the Regent Murray, at the time when the jewels of that unfortunate queen were taken possession of: "tayne be my Lordis Grace and brint vj Mess Buikis."

The great historical events so well known as occurring in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, were not such as to be conducive to the development of art or the preservation of art-work. There were probably some curious and interesting examples among the charters and other documents transmitted to England, and lost or destroyed in substantiating King Edward's claim to the sovereignty of the kingdom. The interesting history of the extremely beautiful "quigrich," or pastoral-staff head of St Fillan, is an instance of how such works were cared for, as well as the risks to which they were exposed.

The Trinity Hall of Aberdeen, the locus of several specimens of old Scottish art, contains an extremely old portrait—not so old as was at one time supposed, but still of a venerable antiquity, now so repainted as to be quite valueless. It is that of William the Lion, and represents the monarch three-quarter length, standing, with a long white beard, holding in his right hand a book, and in his left a rod or staff of office; on his head is a curiously shaped helmet against an aureole, and his waist is encircled by a chain, indicative, it is said, of penance, for the part which history says he had in the murder of Thomas a Becket. It had been preserved from time immemorial in the old monastery of the Trinity Friars, of which he was the founder, and was thence removed to the present hail, which was built in 1731. Kennedy in his 'Annals of Aberdeen' mentions a record of the 4th January 1715, by which an agreement was made with Charles White, a common house-painter, "for renewing the original painting, which had been in the monastery for many ages, as cheap as possible, not exceeding fifty shillings sterling." The picture measures four feet high by two feet nine inches broad, and bears the following inscription, which was probably included in the fifty shillings' worth of new painting by White " St William, King of Scots, surnamed the Lyon, the first founder of the Trinitie Friars at Aberdeen, where he had his chappell. He reigned 49 years, beginning 1165, dyed at Striveling 1214, and was buried at Aberbrothwick."

Regarding Scottish architecture, which began to assume a position in the twelfth century, the subject is so wide, and has been so extensively treated in the works of Billings and others, that any reference here is almost unnecessary. It was in this century that early Norman architecture took root in Scotland. In the previous one, Malcolm Canmore's Saxon queen, Margaret, largely influenced taste. Among the erections of the period may be mentioned Holyrood, commenced in I 128, and the Abbey of Kelso, founded in the same year. The original Norman structure on Inchcolm was erected about 1123; Melrose Abbey was founded thirteen years later (burned in 1322); and St Magnus's Cathedral originated in I 138. The Norman style of architecture in Scotland gave place, in the second half of the same century, to the early pointed, which lasted till about 1242. Examples of this exist in the splendid crypt of Glasgow Cathedral, the nave of Dunblane Cathedral, Kilwinning Abbey, and the chancel of St Blane's in Bute. The Abbey of Aberbrothwick, founded by William the Lion in 1178, illustrates the meeting of the two periods.

Of the very early architects and sculptors, as yet little or nothing is known of any interest: their identity has become merged in their works. We can only theorise and speculate in respect to our ecclesiastical edifices; and regarding the designers of the baronial mansions and castles of Scotland, whatever information there is to be gathered has yet to be gleaned from obscure records or unedited documents. [The inscription to John Murdo in 'Melrose Abbey is of a later date than that of the building. He was probably charged with the upkeep of the edifices thereon named.] There is little doubt that early Scottish architecture and sculpture was an importation from France. The political relations so long existing between the two countries, and the more advanced culture of the French, readily account for this. Thus the evidences of the Ancient League are almost as plainly written on the walls of such castles as those of Glammis and Fyvie as if the veritable documents lay before us; while on the sculptured tombs of such Scottish knights as those in the Kirk of St Bride of Douglas we see the records of their prowess, and of their renown gained under the oriflamme of France. Many of the baronial mansions of Scotland have their prototypes in that of Combourg in northern Brittany, and others in Normandy and Picardy; but the Scottish form of that branch of art has a character of its own, from the presence of which it must be admitted that, although educated under foreign influence, the designers were either natives of the country, or French artists so long settled in Scotland that they might almost be called natives. The antagonistic relations so long existing between the northern and southern parts of the island preclude any idea of this branch of early Scottish art having been influenced by that of England, except to a slight extent by the immigration of Norman adventurers from England. The ecclesiastical architecture of Scotland changed and modified its various styles at later periods than in England; and a comparison between the graceful and beautiful English minsters and abbeys, such as York, Salisbury, and Rivaulx, and the cathedrals of Kelso, Jedburgh, Elgin, and Glasgow, shows at once a different character consistent with that of the people, although the line of demarcation is less severe regarding such buildings as the more picturesque abbey of Melrose and the chapel of Roslin. The mansions of the Scottish nobility, till a comparatively late period, were mostly feudal strongholds. The very few walled towns which then existed, and the construction of Border peels and other fastnesses, tell of the habits of a people inured to war, who cared little for the safety of their ordinary dwellings, so long as their cattle and movable goods could be bestowed in a temporary shelter from the rapacity of predatory raiders, or the risk from reprisals of contending factions. The history of the country tells how the southern invader often met with scant forage and little plunder when unable to reduce such places of strength, forming so many fastnesses from whence the natives issued to harass the foe by practising the tactics which the great Bruce recognised as the most effective against their "auld enemies of England." As evidence of the influence of French example in the art of the early Scottish sculptor, there are the very numerous engraved sepulchral slabs, such as those at Holyrood and Seton, and in Argyle and Aberdeenshire, corresponding to the examples of the same kind and period in France. The storm of the Reformation, which swept away nearly every specimen of sculpture, completely killed that art, as well as architecture, for a time, which was still further prolonged by the Covenanting troubles and the Rebellion; and thus a new race of artists, in harmony with the changed condition of the country, have only been developed a little further back than the present century.

It is highly probable that David I., in the foundation of bishoprics, and the building and endowment of numerous monasteries at the expense of grants of lands out of his patrimony, may have been the means of producing many pieces of sculpture; but in the splendid edifices which he originated, in the form of sculptured figures, hardly any vestiges remain, and these are of the least important kind. There is absolutely nothing of this class at Kelso or Jedburgh; a few insignificant fragments remain at Dry- burgh; at Melrose a few decorated mouldings, small figures, and a Madonna and Child—much broken, but of great elegance—no doubt owe their preservation to the almost inaccessible positions which they occupy: but even these have to be assigned to a very much later date. There is a very close resemblance between the Madonna and similar French work, especially on the cathedral of Rheims, suggestive of the idea that it is of French workmanship. Time and the hands of the destroyer have been very severe on the old carved fonts, few of which now exist: one of these, enriched by coiled dragons of a Celtic character, is at Dryburgh; and another, with figures, is preserved in the small fourteenth-century church at Fowlis Easter.

With regard to the now lost specimens of early sculpture in Scotland of about this period, the memory is preserved of the tomb of Mary de Couci, the second wife of Alexander II. She was descended from the long and illustrious race of the De Coucis of France; her father was famed as a poet as well as a knight; and her period, if not her name, is associated with the well-known chess-pieces preserved in the Edinburgh Museum. She was buried in Newbattle Abbey, and Father Hay mentions that "in the midst of the church was seen her tomb of marble, supported by six lions of marble, and a human figure reclining on the tomb, surrounded by an iron railing." Barbour in his History of the Bruce tells how, when the great monarch died, he was "solemply erdyt in a fayr tumb, in till the quer" of Dunfermline Abbey. The carefully kept Exchequer Rolls of the period record the fact that the tomb was executed in Paris by a Richard Barber, from whence it was sent via Bruges, at the cost of £13, 6s. 8d. (modern money), a further disbursement being made in the same year, 1329, to "Johanni de Lithcu [Linlithgow], pro expensis faciendis circa sepulturam regis." The king died in June, and the tomb being erected in the August following, the short interval leads to the inference that he had it in preparation during his lifetime, in anticipation of the near approach of death. Some fragments, believed to have pertained to this tomb, were unearthed on the discovery of the body of the king in 1817-1818, and are described as being of marble, elegantly chiselled into different small compartments resembling Gothic arches, the ornamental being gilded. [Notes to The Bruce, ed. 1869.]

Judging from the records and history of the fourteenth century, there seems to have been no lack of skilled artificers and artists of different kinds. Although it would be unreasonable to expect that painting, as an art, had any existence to speak of:, it may be curious to recall the fact that Barbour mentions the capture of Edinburgh Castle in 1312 having been foreseen in a vision by "Sanct Margaret, the gud haly queyne," who caused a representa- tion of the escalade to be portrayed on the walls of her chapel. The subject of the portraying, or "taknyng rycht joly," is carefully described by the Archdeacon, who speaks of it as being "yeit in till hyr chapele." [Barbour's Bruce, Buke Sewynd; also, Preface to Exchequer Rolls, vol. ii.] It is known that David II.'s tilting armour was made in Scotland, and there is frequent mention of that craft in the period. The tombstone for Robert II., which was prepared during that monarch's lifetime, was sculptured by Nicholas Haen, the king's mason, and brought from England by sea. It was decorated at Holyrood by Andrew the Painter (who succeeded Adam Tore as "Custos Monete" in the Mint at Edinburgh), after which it was removed via Leith to Perth, and finally to Scone, for the interment of the king. [Exchequer Rolls, Preface to vol. ii.] The same Andrew Painter was also paid for his labours in connection with the tomb of Robert IL's father and mother. Thomas of Strathearn is mentioned as "Custos Monete" at the Perth Mint, and John the Painter, of Aberdeen, was employed in painting armorial banners for David II. Copin the Goldsmith, who made David's sceptre for the coronation, may perhaps have been a foreigner, and possibly also Nicholas, who did similar work for the king under Adam Tore; but, in conjunction with the latter, John the Goldsmith, a bailie of Edinburgh, was employed in the operations at the Mint, where he was allowed five nobles of gold for the purpose of gilding the royal plate. A friar painter, "Fratri Thome Lorimer," appears in the royal accounts in 1382, during the reign of Robert II., when there was a lull in the wars with England, as receiving a payment of xxiij li. x s. for divers purchases in Flanders—a further sum being paid to the same in the same year of vj li. xiiij d. ["Cuidam pictori fratri pro diversis emptis in Flandria ad opus et de Mandato regis."—Acct. of the Custumars of Edinburgh; Exchequer Rolls.]

Seal-engraving on metal, as already mentioned, held even at this early time a very respectable position from an artistic point of view, as evidenced by the Great and Privy Seals of Alexander II. and his successors. Taking into consideration the time at which they were executed, they are of singular merit. It is not the least likely that they would be cut in England, and as they show decided differences in style and treatment from contemporary French seals, may reasonably be attributed to native skill. There must also have been many artists of the kind referred to whose names and works are unknown, who would find employment in the internal decorations of carvings of armorial bearings, and other enrichments, in the dwellings of some of the Scottish nobles, of which the great hail of Randolph, Earl of Murray, at Tarnaway is an example, measuring some ninety feet long by thirty in height. [Border Antiquities.]

The superiority of the coinage of David II. over that of his predecessors, was probably due to the observations which he made during his captivity in England, as on his return to Scotland we find him introducing Italians into the services of the Mint. Popular tradition in England formerly not only credited him with taking an interest in art, but also with having himself handled the sculptor's chisel. Speed in his 'Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain' describes a vault under the castle of Nottingham as being remarkable in his day (1611) for "the story of Christ His passion, engraven on the walls and cut by the hand of David II., King of Scots, whilst he was therein detained prisoner."

About the year 1387 a curious and somewhat romantic episode is related in the 'Scotichron icon' in connection with the great and powerful historic house of Douglas—of which William, the natural son of Archibald, had greatly distinguished himself by his successes on land and sea against the English—showing that the art of portrait-painting was not quite unknown in Scotland. It is related that the King of Scotland, in recognition of these services, had agreed to give William de Douglas the hand of the Lady Ægidia his daughter, "the fairest of maidens; and with her and to the heirs to be borne between them, he gave the lordship of Nyddesdale, to be possessed for ever. Of so elegant a form and so exceeding courteous was this lady, and so esteemed and praised in remote realms, that the most Christian King of France having heard of her fame, sent secretly a subtle painter to portray the effigy of her virgin countenance, proposing to take her to wife." The painter, however, was too late, and before he had the opportunity of thus portraying her virgin countenance, the fair lady had become the bride of the valiant Douglas.

As an evidence that the art of painting in Scotland was so prevalent in the very early fifteenth century as not to be confined to the requirements of the great peers of the realm, but even made use of by knights and barons of lower degree on their funereal monuments in the form of painted "brods," Pinkerton in 1799 refers to a picture in the parish church of Houston in Renfrewshire, which is described in the old Statistical Account as consisting of "a large frame of timber, on which are two pictures, seemingly done in oils, but much worn out. On the right side, a man in complete armour, resembling that of a Knight Templar, with an inscription in Saxon characters over his head, some words of which are effaced—' Hic jacet Dominus Johannes Houston de eodem, miles, qui obiit Anno Dom. M°CCCC°.' On the left hand a picture of his lady, also much effaced, and over her head the inscription, 'Hic jacet Domina Maria Coiquhoun, sponsa quondam dicti Joannis, quae obiit Septimus die Mensis Octobris, An. Dom. M°CCCC° quinto.'" Of this curious old painting, which from its nature and date would probably be painted in tempera, perhaps glazed with oil, no vestige now remains. The presumption is that it was painted to the order of Sir Patrick, who died in 1450, and whose recumbent effigy in complete armour, with that of his wife in the full lady's costume of the period, beautifully carved in freestone, is still preserved in the quite recently erected church on the old site. An instance of the similar application of art occurs in connection with the Blackfriars' Church at Stirling, in which the burial-place of the Duke of Albany and of his two sons was indicated by like paintings. [Icon. Scotica.]

Specimens of monumental sculpture of the early fifteenth century, as well as of the immediately preceding periods, are very numerous in Scotland, and are often of great beauty. In the old kirk of St Bride of Douglas, among other interesting effigies is that of Marjory Abernethy, the wife of Hugh Douglas, who died in 1259. The others consist of the good Sir James, killed by the Moors in 1330; a canopied tomb of Archibald, fifth Earl, second Duke of Touraine and Marshal of France (died 1438), with five remaining of six small upright canopied figures on the base, extremely quaint and elaborate; and a less elaborate but more beautifully executed monument, with the broken effigies of James the Gross (died 1443) and his wife Lady Beatrix Sinclair. The latter is surmounted by a full heraldic achievement. The base contains six small male figures—one habited as an ecclesiastic—and four female figures, the head-dress of the last of which is supposed to indicate her unmarried state, the series being separated by impaled and quartered arms bearing the usual Douglas and family cognisances. Of these, some have been sadly mutilated—it is said, by the Cromwellian dragoons—but traces of their former painting and gilding are yet evident, although the canopies have been much restored. On the last- mentioned work, the carvings over the mouldings are remarkably elegant, and bear a very close resemblance to similar detail on parts of Melrose Abbey, possibly executed by the same carvers. Among other sculptured tombs of about the same periods may be mentioned the mysterious one attributed to the memory of Queen "Blearie," [Marjory Bruce, surnamed Blearie from the circumstance that her son had a disorder in one of his eyes.] the mother of Robert II., in Paisley Abbey; that of the Forresters in Corstorphine Church; and another lying in the chapel of St Mary in Bute, exposed to all the wasteful rigour of the climate. Ivir Henry Laing has described as a most beautiful work of art the sculptured tomb—probably of Walter Paniter, abbot from 1411 till 1443—the remains of which were found in the chancel of Aberbrothoc Abbey, with faded traces of former gilding and colour. [Scottish Antiquaries' Proceedings.] Perhaps, however, the most splendid work of this kind erected in Scotland is the fine canopied tomb of Bishop Kennedy in the College Church at St Andrews, from which, unfortunately, the recumbent figure is gone. Speaking of this, Mr Billings says " In very few such works have architectural forms and devices been so profusely and gorgeously heaped together as in the rich monument of black marble erected to the memory of Bishop Kennedy. Towers, pinnacles, crockets, canopies, arches, pillars, mimic doors and windows—all have been thrown together in rich yet symmetrical profusion at the will of some beautiful and fantastic fancy, as if a fairy palace had been suddenly erected out of the elements of feudal castles, of minsters, abbeys, cloisters, and vaults." He died in 1446, and is thus referred to by Pitscottie: " He foundit ane triumphand colledge in Sanct Androis, called Sanct Salvitouris Colledge, quharin he made his lear verne curiouslie and coastlie, and also he biggit ane schip, called the Bischopis barge; and when all thrie were cornpleit—to witt, the colledge, the lair, and the barge—he knew not quhilk of thrie was costliest, for it was rekoned for the tyme be honest men of consideratioun that the least of thrie cost him ten thousand pund sterling." [Billings's Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities. ] In order to bring the tomb up to this value, a tradition exists, for which there seems no foundation, that the niches were originally filled with statuettes of silver. [Fletcher's Guide to St Andrews, 1845.]

Although we understand that James I., in addition to a taste for poetry and music, showed some skill in miniature-painting and book-illuminating, we have no known specimens of the work of the royal amateur. In his time, although heraldry was much in vogue and book-illuminating widely practised, we have only a few examples of the latter to show as representing this branch of the art of the period. Regarding illuminated armorials of the Scottish nobility, the oldest is that in the Bibliothèque Royale at Brussels, by Gelre, Herault d'Armes, of the fourteenth century, followed in point of date by that of Gilles de Bouvier, created Berry King of Arms by Charles II. in the early fifteenth century, and which contains one hundred and twenty-two coats from Scotland, against sixty-two from Germany, and sixty- four from Italy. A collection in the Advocates' Library bears the date 1630-1654, copied by Sir James Balfour, Lyon King, from an earlier work by Sir Robert Forman, who was sent on an embassy to France to "our Sovrane lady Marie" about 1562. These of course have no pretensions to works of art, being mere registers; but the old family of the Kers of Vair possess a MS., evidently of native workmanship and of a later date, showing a rude but spirited execution, and containing several curious bearings of Highland chiefs fully displayed. By far our most important herald was the distinguished Sir David Lindsay of the Mount, whose MS. of 1542 shows very considerable power in drawing, the designs being free and bold, and often very great taste exhibited in the cartouches beneath bearing the inscriptions, which are again excelled by those in the small folio of the younger Sir David, executed between March 1603 and March 1605. [Possessed by the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres.]

To the taste of the energetic but unfortunate king who was so brutally murdered at Perth, we owe most of the fine old palace of Linlithgow, on the building and decoration of which he spent very considerable sums. Much decayed, weather-worn, and mostly in fragments, the old fountain in the centre of the quadrangle still forms an appropriate ornament to the royal dwelling. Almost as much decayed are the sculptures on the outside of the wall over the main entrance, and those on the wall of the east side of the court, where, under a fretted canopy, the centre is occupied by the head, shoulders, and arms of a St Michael, whose outspread wings dominate a crumbled and empty niche, formerly containing, it is said, the statue of a pope. On each side of this is the upper part of another angel with spread wings flying upwards with a scroll, still showing traces of great spirit and execution, and the motive of which is most apparent in the early part of a sunny day, when the light falling from the south-east almost converts them into semblances of flying doves. Under these the niches are said to have contained figures of a knight and an agriculturist, thus representing the three estates dominated by angelic powers. Of the group over the south entrance, formerly supposed to represent a salutation, all that now remains is a female figure with upturned face, hands folded on her breast, and long flowing hair: on this figure also the rude Scottish climate has failed to obliterate traces of its original grace. Whether these may be considered the work of native or imported artists is not known. With reference to the internal decorations, the fact is recorded that in 1434 xxxvij Ii. xvj s. was paid to "Matheo [Mathew] pictori regis "for painting materials, and in the following year v Ii. x s. for a similar purpose, to "Magister Johanni pinctore regis." As the palace approached a habitable condition, further expenditure is recorded, including orders for tapestries with the royal arms, executed at Bruges in 1436. [Exchequer Rolls.]

Connected with ecclesiastical art, one of the most beautiful remaining specimens is a winged St Michael on one of the angles of the Linlithgow church of that name. Much decayed and mutilated as that is, the pose of the figure trampling on the dragon is still perfectly preserved, the action of the right hand grasping the Misericorde and of the left arm (the hand of which has been holding the staff of a spear) being yet evident. The unhelmeted head is of a feminine character, with long flowing hair; the tight-fitting body seems to have been covered by chain-mail, with tassets or skirts; and on the lower limbs, the central ridge or angle, still discernible in a sharp side-light, with some markings under the left knee, show rather the character of plate-armour than the softer rounding which would yet have remained if a mail covering had been represented. Equally beautiful and probably of the same period is a fragment of a cross in the old churchyard of Kilmartin, bearing on one side in high relief a carved figure of the crucified Saviour, which will compare favourably with any Continental sculpture of the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries. The outstretched arms are gone, but the drooping head with its crown of thorns, supine limbs, graceful form, and soft modelling, still show evidences of its having been a beautiful work of art. The other side bears the lower part only of a flat treatment of God the Father in a Byzantine style. The cross, it is said, formerly stood on the roadside in the neighbourhood, from whence it was removed, laid in the graveyard, covered with turf, and afterwards erected where it now stands on one side of the path within the gateway, opposite to another of a similar size and form, covered with the usual geometric pattern. The legs are crossed—a treatment which did not obtain till after the early part of the fourteenth century.

The character of the second James was not such as to lead us to expect from him any recognition of art, and, personally, there seems little to be recorded during his reign; probably his contentions with the powerful house of Douglas left him little leisure or thought for anything else. There is mention of the usual half- workman, half-artist of the period in the Custumar's accounts, where the name of John Tavernere occurs twice, specially as painting a banner and making a gittern. Alan, a painter, is mentioned as receiving payment by the king's order for painting a similar instrument; and an " Allan Pantour," who was possibly the same, "the most ingenious man in Scotland, and most subtle in divers things," is chronicled as having been slain by an arrow "throu misgovernyng of himself" at the siege of Douglas's castle of Abercorn on St George's Day 1454, and was "much missed by the king and his nobles."  [Exchequer Rolls.]

The third monarch of the name, who seems to have had more enthusiasm and love for the fine arts than power for governing, did something towards encouraging a taste for art, as shown by some works already mentioned, although his nobles did not permit their appreciation of architecture from hanging Cochran over the parapet of Lauder Bridge. To this king we owe the erection of the great hall of Stirling Castle, as well as the Chapel Royal of Stirling, or, as it was then called, the Collegiate Church of the Blessed Mary and St Michael. This chapel must, however, have presented a great contrast to the important cathedrals then existing, as, although the historian Robert Johnston, who lived from 1572 till 1628, describes the ceiling of the new Chapel Royal as having been decorated with gilding, and the walls adorned with pictures and sculpture for the baptism of the Prince of Wales in 1594, Sir Robert Drummond, in his report for its restoration in 1584, says, "The thaik thairof resaweis weit and rane in sic sort that the kingis hienes may nocht weill remane within the same in tyme of weitt or rane;" and also, that "the ruif thairof hes bene wrang wrocht, meikie under sqware, that the thak of the same is of skailze, and is ane werray licht thak." [Rogers's Chapel Royal of Stirling. Note. —The use of the word "thak" does not necessarily imply a thatch of straw, as the word applies to any roof-covering.]

It is, however, mainly to the contents of this chapel that it has a connection with our subject, as several works of the painter's art are enumerated in the inventory made in the year Among the vestments, &c., are mentioned,—"Item, a tablet [tabula] with three leaves on which are painted an image of our Lady bearing her son in her arms, and two angels with musical instruments. Item, one [tabula or tablet] having three leaves on which are painted under glass an image of the crucifix and four of the saints under glass on the sides. Item, four great Antiphonarici [music-books] on parchment, written with a pen, and having divers capital letters gilt." [Rogers's Chapel Royal.] The tablets were no doubt altar-paintings, constructed so that the two side leaves folded and closed over the central picture, and the music-books were probably the work of Sir Thomas Galbraith, [A pope's knight, as he would be called, and not taking rank in the recognised degree of knighthood.] a priest of the Lennox family, who under James IV. was connected with the chapel as a musician, as in 1491 he was paid, along with "Jok Goldsmyth and Craford," three unicorns, "for singyn a ballad to the king in the morning."

While on the subject of painting in connection with church services, there may be mentioned, in further illustration of the number of paintings formerly existing, and many of which would no doubt have been the work of native artists, a silken painted banner existing in the cathedral of Aberdeen in 1514, and the following extract from the inventory in the college library there, and dated 1542 : "A small tablet having an effigy of the Holy Virgin Mary, surrounded with interlaced work; another, on which is painted the Virgin in glory; another, on which is painted John Elphinston, knight, before an image of the crucifix, given by the rector of Clatt; another, having the effigy of our Lady of Loretto; another, having an effigy of the crucifixion, given by John Vaus, formerly a teacher in this college." [Kennedy's Annals of Aberdeen.] The curious and interesting old portrait of Bishop Elphinston, so carefully preserved in King's College, is possibly the work of a Flemish artist.

Of more probable interest as works of art of the fifteenth century were the wall decorations beside the high altar in the cathedral of Dunkeld, executed for Bishop Thomas Lauder between 1452 and 1476, consisting of the twenty-four miracles of St Columba, over which were two figures of the saint, in honour of whom a monastery of Culdees had been founded there in the eighth or ninth century. Among other wealthy ecclesiastics of taste of the same period may be mentioned Thomas Tarvas, Abbot of Paisley, who died in 1459. Finding his kirk "all out of gude rewle," and otherwise in disorder, "the body of the kirk Ira the bucht stair up he biggit, . . . and brocht hame mony gude jewellers, and claiths of gold, silver, and silk, and mony gude buikis, and maid staitlie stalls, and glassynit mekie of all the kirk, and brocht hame the staitliest tabernacle that was in all Scotland, and the maist costlie."

Perhaps, however, the most interesting relic associated with James III. was the Trinity Church of Edinburgh—a fragment of a Gothic edifice of beautiful style, now demolished. It is usually mentioned as having been built by James to the memory of his mother, Mary of Gueldres; but the Burgh Records of Edinburgh prove that it was at least begun in 1460 (the year in which James II. was killed), by Mary of Gueldres herself. [Extracts from Burgh Records of Edinburgh, A.D. 1403.1528.] There is thus every reason, if dates so far ascertainable can be relied upon, to suppose that it was erected as a monument to one of Scotland's ablest kings cut off in his prime, by an affectionate and sorrowing widow. The building was taken down in 1848 to make room for the accommodation of a railway coal-depot, and beside it was Trinity Hospital, "a retreat for a few aged and decayed male and female burgesses; it was nothing outside, but the door was no sooner opened than a different world appeared. Everything about it was odd and ancient. . . . It contained nothing, except perhaps a few old books and portraits, of any intrinsic value, but, placed as it was, everything was appropriate and strange. It was knocked to pieces to accommodate a very respectable company of carriers." [Lord Cockburn's Memorials.] The "carriers" thus referred to were the North British Railway Company, between whom and the magistrates an arrangement was agreed upon for the transfer of the site, in accordance with which the Company were to take down and rebuild the church elsewhere. As an alternative, the Magistrates and Council were to accept a sum in compensation, and take the re-erection in their own hands. The Company submitted plans estimated at £16,371, which were rejected by the Council, chiefly on the ground of not being purely a restoration, and this sum was then offered and accepted in accordance with the alternative. The building was taken down and the stones allowed to lie in the neighbourhood of Calton Hill, where they might have continued still, but for the repeated pleadings and indignant protests of public-spirited gentlemen and the Society of Antiquaries. After an interval of twenty-four years, the Council at last moved, and the Trinity Church was re-erected in 1872 on its present site. The complete re-dressing, however, which the stones had to undergo, has removed every characteristic of antiquity, and the visitor can now only recognise a very respectable modern church.

This church is connected with the painter's art by having had in its possession originally the very remarkable altar-painting which is now preserved in Holyrood Palace. The picture, or rather series of pictures, consists of two panels of fir, which measure thirty-seven by seventy-seven inches, upright, and probably formed the folding-doors of an altar-piece, painted on both sides. The first represents the king, James III., kneeling under a red-coloured cloth of estate, within a church, behind whom is his son, afterwards James IV., represented about ten or twelve years of age—this fixes the date of the picture as about 1480, the prince having been born in March 1471-72; also behind the monarch is St Andrew, against his saltire cross, placing with his right hand a jewelled crown on the king's head. On the reverse of this panel is representation of the Holy Trinity, God the Father being represented with long auburn hair, wearing a red robe, and seated on a throne of gold, on the dais of which lies a crystal orb : a white dove, emblematic of the Holy Ghost, hovers over the head of the dead Christ, who is supported by the hands of the Father. Slight differences in the execution of this are suggestive of the work of another artist.

On the second panel the principal figure is that of James's queen, Margaret of Denmark, kneeling under a green traverse, identified by her blazon of the Danish arms. She wears a red close-fitting cloth bodice over a blue robe, with a blue ermine- lined mantle, and a pall of cloth-of-gold over her shoulders; on her head is a pearled crepine and jewelled crown, and a gold band over the left ear is inscribed PNAN, the meaning of which is yet unknown. The queen is attended by a figure in plate-armour, surmised as being her father in the character of St Canute; over the armour is a peculiar pendant of leather resembling oak-leaves, and he holds in his left hand a lance with an unfurled pennon, party per pale argent and azure, inscribed JHESV. MARIA in golden letters. On the reverse of this panel is a kneeling ecclesiastic, wearing the tonsure, a linen surplice, fur pelisse, and an almuce of grey squirrel's fur hanging over his left arm: this figure is identified by his arms—azure, a chevron argent between three buckles or—as Sir Edward Boncle, of the family of the Bonkils of the Merse, who was Provost of the Trinity College, and an accomplished musician. Beside him is a St Cecilia seated at an organ, with before her, over the keyboard, a book opened at the first verse of the hymn, "0 Lux Beata Trinitas," with the chant-notes; a winged angel, in amice and all), stands behind working the bellows and evidently listening. The latter is perhaps the finest of the four pictures in point of execution. The St Cecilia the late Dr David Laing claims as a portrait of the widowed queen, who founded the church; while Pinkerton, who first drew attention to the picture, and traced its heraldry, suggests the probability of the saint and angel being portraits of the king's sisters, Mary Lady Hamilton, and Margaret, who was then unmarried. It may be curious to note that the prince, afterwards James IV., was immediately after his birth betrothed to the Princess Cecilia of England, who was his senior by four years, and the engagement not broken off till 1481 or 1482. If the head of the Cecilia has not been very considerably altered, however, she is represented at too advanced an age to permit us to suppose that this was intended for the princess.

Regarding the authorship of this very remarkable and singularly beautiful work—probably the noblest of the kind in the now united kingdom, of that period—it has as yet been impossible to determine. The whole character of the work points unerringly to a Flemish artist of the Van Eyck school. Among the State Paper Office documents is one entitled "A note of all such pictures as your Highness [James I.] hath at this present, done by severall famous masters' owne hands, by the Life" (which is supposed to have been written about 1623 or 1624). No. i is, "Imprimis—King James III. of Scotland with his queen, doune by Joan Vanak." [Proceedings of Society of Scottish Antiquaries, by Dr David Laing. John van Eyck died 1440-41, and Hubert in 1426.] It was for some time attributed to Mabuse, and when at Hampton Court was accepted as such, and criticised accordingly by Dr Waagen; [Waagen's Art Treasures in Great Britain, 1854.] but that artist was not born till about 1470, and does not seem to have been in England till about 1499. In the Manchester Exhibition, where it was shown in 1857, it bore the name of Hugo van der Goes, who was much employed by the Burgundian Court at Bruges and Ghent, and who painted a picture in connection with the marriage of Margaret of York and Charles the Rash. A comparison with the works of this artist is, however, rather difficult his pictures formerly in Belgium have been either lost or destroyed; those bearing his name in the catalogues of Berlin, Munich, and Vienna are said to be doubtful; and his best and most authentic work is an altar piece in the Hospital of Sta. Maria Nuova at Florence. In addition to this, he is stated as having died in the year 1482 (nearly the presumed date of the pictures), in the convent of the Rooden Clooster near Brussels, where for some time he was an inmate and associated with the monks in a state of melancholy. The late Dr David Laing has brought all his acuteness of research to bring it within the period of that artist's life, but not quite successfully, by antedating the picture. His reasons for this are, the apparent youth of some of the chief persons represented, and that no special cause can be discovered for having such a cons- position painted in 1482 or 1484, at such a late epoch in the king's reign. The explanation which he suggests is, that the painting was intended to commemorate the marriage and coronation of the youthful queen in 1469. Allowing a year for the completion of the picture, such a date, he assumes, would be so much nearer the period of the foundation of the church when actual progress had been made in the building. [The church must have been surely finished long before this. In the Burgh Records appears, "Promulgation by Andrew, Bishop of Glasgow, of Bull of Pope Pius II., dated 23d October 1460, and authorising annexation of Hospital of Soltray to Collegiate Church and Hospital of Holy Trinity," and made at Linlithgow 1461-62.] In presence of the panels it is rather difficult to admit that the figures represented are of the ages which this date would necessitate. Who painted them may be yet ascertained, and it must always remain a proof of a high degree of taste and culture that an artist capable of executing such a work should have been selected and employed.

Regarding the history of these panels, it is probable that they were removed to the Chapel Royal of Holyrood after the Trinity Church was conveyed by gift from the Crown to the Magistrates in 1567. When the various articles of furniture, books, pictures, were removed from Holyrood Palace to England on James's accession to the English throne in 1603, it is not known that the panels were included, but the document already referred to shows that they must have been removed prior to 1623, or at an earlier period, among the plunder carried off by the English during the reign of Henry VIII. They are enumerated in the catalogue of pictures at Hampton Court in 1688, and were afterwards removed to Kensington, probably by William III., when he purchased and enlarged that palace in 1691, enriching it at the same time by a selection of pictures, &c., from St James's, Windsor, and Hampton Court, as they appear in the Kensington list of 1820—numbers 157 and 166 in the Queen's Dining-room. In 1836 they were again removed to Hampton Court, and in 1857, as already said, were exhibited in Manchester, where the attention of Scottish antiquaries and artists was drawn to them, and by the active zeal of David Laing, F.S.A., and W. B. Johnston, R.S.A., a memorial was presented to her Majesty by several noblemen and gentlemen, praying for their transference to the Palace of Holyrood at the close of the Exhibition, which was accordingly done. [David Laing. Pinkerton's Portraits, &c., &c. Of about the same date is mentioned, among the property of George, Earl Marisehal, a coffer appro. priated by his widow, containing, among other valuables, a portrait of the Queen of Denmark "in gold set about with rich diamants, estimate to five thousand merks."] They were at that time in a very bad state of preservation, one of the pictures being much blistered on the surface, and in 1871 were successfully cleaned and restored under the care of a Mr Buttery in London.

From the fact that the panels are painted on both sides, of equal sizes, and with corresponding subjects, there can be little doubt that they were meant for the folding leaves or doors of a triptych, and the question naturally arises, What did they enclose? If the work ever stood in a complete form, there may have been a third picture, painted on one side only, and double the size of these panels—a form of altar-painting not uncommon at the period, and of which the Mystic Lamb of the Van Eycks at Ghent is a magnificent example. If the enclosure did not consist of a painting, it would probably be some precious piece of altar-furnishing or venerated relic, held in a recess of which these panels formed the doors.

Near to the village of Luff, and some six or seven miles from Dundee, stands the little church of Fowlis Easter, dedicated to St Merion in the twelfth century, but rebuilt in the fourteenth, containing a beautiful specimen of old wood-carving and an interesting stone font. The chancel is separated from the present place of service by an oaken screen, containing the most magnificent specimen of ecclesiastic art which Scotland possesses of the kind and period, incomplete as it is. The painting consists of three separate compartments—the principal being a representation of the crucifixion, measuring fully thirteen feet in length by over five feet in height, and is full of incident. The figures in the foreground are over half life-size, and shown in half-length only. "The figure of our Lord in the centre shows the body stretched at full length (on the cross), in contradistinction to those of His two companions in suffering, who are suspended by the armpits, having the hands and feet bound together with ropes—the sinews above and below their elbows and knees being cut. The countenance of the Saviour expresses calm serenity amidst suffering; that of the thief on the right, peace of mind and the pleasures of hope; while the one on the left presents a forbidding aspect, having depicted on his visage the contortions arising from pain and fear. ...The Saviour's head is encircled by the crown of thorns, and surmounted by a glory; the repentant thief's with a neatly folded turban; while his neighbour's on the left is bound with a fillet of cloth with a knot, the ends hanging down. The whole three are draped round the middle—the drapery of Christ being loosely folded, and that of His companions closely fitted to their bodies. At the foot of the cross stand the beloved John, the Blessed Virgin, the two Marys, and Martha. . . . The Virgin appears overwhelmed with grief; the head is shrouded in a loose-flowing robe, exhibiting the countenance supported by the hand on the left side; the under garment is fitted close to the body. Between the Virgin and the cross stands Mary Magdalene, clothed in a loose robe (the penitent's dress) closely fitting at the neck, with head draped.

On her left, and on the left of the cross, Mary of Bethany, with dishevelled hair and clasped hands, with eyes apparently fixed on the Saviour's feet. . . . On the right of the cross stands the beloved disciple, whose manly countenance betrays the emotions of a loving heart torn by the sight of the suffering of his Master. Behind the Virgin stands Martha, with grief strongly depicted; yet she appears to be surveying as to how the Virgin bears the blow. Mary of Bethany, alone of the females, appears without a covering for the head, although a glory encircles it as well as that of the other four. On the left of the cross, between it and the unrepenting thief, is seated on horseback the centurion, or grasping in his left hand the scroll of condemnation; while from the first finger of the right hand rises a label containing the expression of his connection as to the Godhead of Christ—viz., 'Vero flues Dei erat iste.' His robe is of purple, bordered with ermine. Behind appear two soldiers and a monk on horseback. On the left of the malefactor's cross are seen the high priest and two ecciesiastics. The high priest is clad with a robe bordered with ermine, having on his head the Eastern tiara, and holding a species of sceptre in the hand. Over his left shoulder is seen Satan with a countenance beaming with joy; the eye sparkles with pleasure, the mouth exhibits a row of teeth set in a peculiar fashion, and the head is enclosed with a covering resembling a Kilmarnock night-cap, having excrescences to cover the two horns that rise from the forehead. Overhead appears one of his angels in the form of a black dragon of hideous aspect, bearing away the soul of the unrepentant thief to destruction. The soul has the appearance of an infant's head and shoulders, terminating in a point resembling a cone. On the left of the high priest is a soldier clad in armour, and on his right an ecclesiastic bearing a scroll. On the right of the cross of Christ are two mounted soldiers, who are guiding the spear which is thrust by one of their companions. To the right of the malefactor's cross, a figure in armour with uncovered head appears as if appealing to the soldier to withdraw his spear. The soldier appears in a garment over his arm resembling that of Mary Magdalene, and is pointing to his eye with the disengaged hand. . . . By tradition we are told that the soldier who pierced our Lord's side was called Longinus, and that he was nearly blind, which accounts for his two companions guiding the weapon. On piercing the Saviour's side, part of the blood which sprang from the wound fell into his eye. Straightway receiving his sight perfectly, he was so convinced by this display of the Saviour's grace and mercy, that he left the army and joined himself to the apostles (hence the penitent's garb), and being instructed in the faith, was an instrument in God's hands to the conversion of others, and at last died a martyr for Christ. Over the head of Longinus appears an angel of light bearing away the soul of the repentant thief."  [Historical Sketches of the Church and Parish of Fowlis Easter. James Stewart: 1865.]

The space immediately over this important picture is occupied by a series of portraits, nineteen inches in height and fourteen in number, the last being obliterated, as the fifteenth space is a blank. These represent apostles, saints, &c., with their appropriate emblems, and in addition a supposed portrait of the painter, with closely shaven face, hat and feathers, and his easel in front of him, evidently, says the writer of the previous description, a native of the south of Europe; but these are too high and too ill-lighted to permit of close examination.

The third and lowest compartment, which occupies the space between the entrance to the chancel and the north wall, has been very much injured, either through wilfulness or neglect, and much of the surface presents only the graining of the wood. On the spectator's left is a figure of St Catherine, about half life-size, succeeded by a figure of the Redeemer, of which the head alone remains, almost the size of life. To the right of the latter is a figure of John the Baptist, the space between this and the wall being occupied by a very beautiful Madonna and Child, nearly entire and in good preservation. The lower portion of this compartment represents the taking down from the cross, but the heads have all disappeared, the action of the figures and the body of the Saviour alone being left to illustrate the subject. Other three panels present nothing but the bare wood, and the large panel to the left of the doorway contained a representation of the rising from the tomb, removed many years ago to some unknown place.

There are good reasons for supposing that the whole walls were at one time adorned with similar paintings, the plaster bearing which was destroyed during the Reformation; and the preservation of these panels is due to the fact that after being only partially obliterated the present remaining portions were covered with a coating of whitewash, removed from the surface about the year 1845. The work is characterised by much very excellent and refined drawing, careful thought, and in some places almost a Giorgione tone of colour. The style of the work throughout indicates the art as Flemish of the very best period, between 1420 and 1480, and of that branch of it which was influenced by the Cologne master, Stephen Lothener, although not without some indications of Italian refinement in the roundness of the forms, and occasionally great elegance of feature and expression. It is painted in the early Flemish manner, tempera wrought over with oil or varnish, and is a high testimony to the state of culture in Scotland at the period. To attribute it to the hand of any particular artist or artists would be at the best a mere guess. The character of the work suggests a painter of the school of Bruges, which city had about that time attained its highest point of prosperity under the government of the Dukes of Burgundy. Among the principal comti'oirs éfrangers at Bruges, that of Scotland was established in 1386; [Delepierre's Annales de Bruges. Bruges, 1835.] and suchlike exportations of Flemish art were common in the fifteenth century. The important triptych attributed to Memling in the cathedral of Dantzig is a notable and curious instance. Having been commissioned from Italy, it was shipped at Sluys on board a British- built ship chartered by the Portinari and other Florentines of Bruges, and which was bound in the first place for the port of London. The relations at that time between England and Flanders being severely strained, Paul Benecke, the pirate, thought it a fair object of reprisal, and accordingly kept his caravel in its wake till an opportunity for its capture occurred off the English coast. The works of Petrus Christus at an earlier date were exported from Bruges even into Spain, the fragments of triptych by that artist being still preserved at Berlin, taken from convent at Burgos. About 1470, Justus of Ghent executed an altar-piece for the birthplace of the great Raphael, the cost of which was defrayed by subscriptions from the Duke of Urbino and others. [Crowe and Cavalcaselle's Early Flemish Painters.] Many other instances might be produced of commissions being sent to Bruges and Ghent by foreign corporations and wealthy individuals for the decoration of cathedrals or private chapels.

While this very important work of art was probably an importation of this kind, there is mention made of a local artist practising in the not very far-off city of Aberdeen in 1493, in which year Alexander Reid, the provost, had his portrait painted by an unknown artist, and which hung in the Kirk -Session House of Aberdeen till the year 1640. [Mr Bullock's Life of George Jamesone. This portrait may possibly have been by the Andrew Bairhum who is referred to further on.]


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