Search just our sites by using our customised search engine
Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

The Scottish School of Painting
Chapter XIV. John Phillip and James Drummond

Whilst the enthusiasm which had led to the formation of the Scottish Academy was yet in its first ardour, and the capital was attracting to itself the art talent, not of Scotland only but of the North of England, one who was to rank amongst her most distinguished painters was giving Edinburgh the go-by. Few northern artists, even of those who had subsequently made London their headquarters, had hitherto escaped a year or two’s training at the Trustees’ Academy or with one or other of the painters who supplemented their professional work by teaching, and now it seemed less likely than ever. But the unlikely happened when, in 1834, an apprentice boy, John Phillip by name, reached London from Aberdeen, without setting foot on the intermediate stepping-stone. And though after a year or two in the studio of J. M. Joy, and at the schools of the Royal Academy, young Phillip worked for some years in the North, he remained faithful to the city of Bon-Accord, till in 1846 he made London his headquarters. Though thus detached from the main stream of Scottish painting, his subjects and his methods remain as national as those of the figure-painters of the North, till the exigencies of health led to that association with Spain which was attended with such splendid results towards the close of his career.

The titles of his earliest pictures, Highland Courtship; Bruce about to receive the Sacrament on the morning previous to the Battle of Bannockburn ; The New Scholar; A Scotch Baptism; sufficiently attest this. The one thing that differentiates him from contemporary Scottish painters in this matter is the absence of subjects from Sir Walter Scott; a Scene from Old Mortality, with a sketch and an unfinished picture of The Fair Maid of Perth, 1 sum up his indebtedness to the novelist. In regard to method his work is closely akin to that which Harvey and Duncan had inherited from Wilkie, and which Faed and others were to continue to a later day. In A Highland Lassie, of 1841, and two small portraits of himself of a year or two earlier, his affinity with native art is less felt than in the sketches for The New Scholar and A Scotch Baptism, of 1846, and the picture Presbyterian Catechising, of the year following. These latter exhibit all the characteristics of the school, its breadth of transparent shadow, its deft if somewhat flimsy modelling, and effective arrangement of light and shade. The Catechising, as one of the earliest of Phillip’s more ambitious works, and as it contains in embryo something of his future excellence, deserves more than a passing word. The picture represents an ecclesiastical usage now in abeyance, but which in Phillip’s youth would be common enough, where the inhabitants of some farm-town or rural district were assembled in the most commodious house available, to undergo examination in Biblical knowledge at the hands of their parish minister. Both Wilkie and Harvey have treated kindred scenes in a technique very similar, but the interest of Phillip’s com position, from this point of view, is that here and there it reveals a personal note which asserted itself later. For the most part the painting has the flimsiness to which the Scottish methods tended, and although the handling is broad and suave, the figures generally, and especially those in fuller light, want relief. The face and figure of the catechist himself have more substance; but it is in the painting of some of the subsidiary personages that something of the racy fluency of the future Phillip appears. A Country Fair a sketch for a picture exhibited at the Royal Academy in the following year, is admirable in its observation of the humours of the occasion ; a sold of later Pitlessie. The thin brush work is delightfully suggestive in parts, but the colours are in places ill assorted and raw ; and even in a sketch one could desire something more of substance and body. Recruiting* though painted within a year or two of his first visit to Spain, is, as regards method, as far from what was so soon to be as any of his earlier pictures; nay, the painter of these bewigged and ruffled country gentlemen, lawyers and military men, has perhaps less affinity with “ Phillip of Spain ” than he who painted Presbyterian Catechising. In Baptism in Scotland, 1850, Phillip returned to an earlier subject, and in the following year A Scotch Washing, and The Spaewife of the Clachan, continued the Scottish series. This year 1851 was an eventful one in the artist’s career. A threatened collapse of health led to his seeking a more genial climate, and, fortunately, the choice fell on Spain.

Sometimes a change of environment leads to a sudden expansion of faculty. Phillip is one of the most remarkable instances of this. The transition from Buchan to Seville as a field for subject-matter was sufficiently drastic. Perhaps it was the very completeness of the change that awakened an answering chord in the aesthetic perceptions of the Scotsman, as men often take to their opposites in matters of personal liking. However that may be, from henceforth there is a surprising and continuous development in Phillip’s art. The first notable result of this earliest sojourn in Andalusia was A Letter Writer, Seville This picture, and Collecting the Offerings in a Scotch Kirk, exhibited in 1853 and 1854 respectively, show in their elaboration of detail that Phillip did not altogether escape the influence of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, but, unlike his townsman Dyce, there was no response in the younger artist’s nature to the more marked characteristics of the “ Brethren.” In the course of a few years, even the “ finish,” which in the public eye was their chief distinction, gave place to the broader treatment of his later Spanish period. Mr. Dafforne in a sketch of the artist’s career, says that these Spanish visits made little or no alteration in Phillip’s manner, and that this only confirmed and strengthened that which he had already adopted. In this matter he contrasts him with Sir David Wilkie, whose style was admittedly affected by his visits to the Peninsula. But if there was no change of manner, there was such a development of powers during the years 1851-8, which include his first two visits, as to amount to much the same thing. Even in the slighter work of these years a change is observable, the hand is quickened in the application of the more solid pigment, and though the darker parts remain transparent and open, they have lost the flimsy appearance of the earlier period.

As the result of a second visit to the Peninsula made in company with Mr. Ansdell, he exhibited in 1857 The Prison Window, Seville* A touching incident of Spanish life is here portrayed with the increased skill Phillip now has at command. A young mother, of strongly marked national type, holds her child to the barred window, whence the father extends a brawny arm to clasp it, kissing it eagerly the while. Midway between this and Gossips at a Well in the same collection, a little picture, The Huff an incident in which two fashionably attired senoritas of some crowded Prado or Alameda play the leading role, shows increasing deftness of hand and acquaintance with the sparkle of Spanish colour and light. The Gossips, of the Tate Gallery, is a more elaborate composition than its neighbour, The Prison Window. Exhibited four years later, it shows a great advance in technical qualities, and though there is not yet the full flavour of his latest works, the striking of pure limpid colour over a heavier underpainting, which became so marked a feature of his last lustrum, is distinctly felt. Now, every succeeding year seems to bring an increase of power, Agua Benedita and The Water Drinkers, of 1862, are followed by The House of Commons .1860, La Gloria—A Spanish Wake, The Early Career of Murillo, A Chat round the Brasero; till in 1867, three works contributed by the artist’s executors wind up the series. These last included Antonia, one of his fancifully treated single figures, the others, “O Nannie, wilt thou gang wi me?" and A Highland Lassie reading, indicate a return to Scottish subjects.

Phillip’s exhibited works give little idea of his industry. Four 01- five little bits which have found a permanent home at the Guildhall may be taken as representative of many others painted between 1859-64 but not exhibited. Of more importance and also typical of numerous pictures not shown in the artist’s lifetime, is that entitled Faith, in the same collection. Painted in 1864, it represents the artist in the maturity of his powers. A young woman, whose rough chocolate-coloured shawl marks her as of the people, looks upward with rosary in clasped hands, to a cross on the massive pillar of some sacred edifice. She is seen in profile and to the waist: her features are shadowed and her coarse black hair is a little dishevelled, but all the richness of the South, and the ardour of an unquestioning belief are expressed in the olive cheek, and the lustrous eye she turns on the sacred symbol. The colour scheme is more reticent than usual; a stripe of lemon in the white kerchief and a hint of red skirt serve only to accent the sombre green and brown of sleeve and shawl, and the umbers and lights of the background. All Phillip is here, both in sentiment and technique. El Cigarillo, of the same date, depicts with equal verve a charming brunette and the more mundane joys of “a quiet whiff.”

But the triumph of this year, which marks the culmination of his powers, was La Gloria—A Spanish Wake. This picture, begun at Seville in 1860, was a revelation even to the artist’s admirers, combining as it does the various excellences the painter had already shown, in a tvpical subject and on a large scale. The great canvas, which dazzles one for a moment with its wealth of light and colour, reveals a scene in strange contrast—to Northern ideas—with the event; the solemnity of death marked not by sad countenance and sombre apparel, but by revelry of music and the dance. In some poor quarter of the Andalusian capital a child’s death is being thus celebrated. On the right, the assembled friends make merry where the almost tropical sunlight floods the little courtyard, uniting in one bouquet-like blaze the whirl of coloured skirts and floating shawls towards the centre of the picture. Here the belle of the occasion points the “ fantastic toe ” over against her clean-built vis-a-vis in the short brown jacket and tight nether garments of the bull-ring. The spectators look admiration, not unmixed with envy on the part of the girls, at this superb creature, who has snatched the cap from her partner’s head, brandishing it aloft with graceful triumphant gesture. The musicians incite the well-matched pair to further efforts, supplementing their instruments with the voice, as is their wont in moments of excitement. Eye and ear are filled with music and light and the shuffle of feet. Apart from this motley throng, in the shadow of the stricken house, the mother has stolen aside to look again on her dead child, a glimpse of whose waxen features is seen athwart the drawn curtain of the doorway. Her less sensitive husband stoops over her, laying a sympathetic hand on her shoulder, a female friend kneels by. This shadowed group supplies the grave element to the composition, and acts as a foil to the sunlit spaces and the tumult beyond. Low dwelling-houses with latticed balconies, and rosy-toned street and tower telling light against the blue, with a hint of distant sierra, close in the scene. Such a subject lends itself to strong contrasts and a sentiment which is apt to become unhealthy. With a less robust temperament this might have happened, but here, even the glimpse of the dead child in the sickly lamplight of the darkened room causes no feeling of repugnance. The free air, the light, the abounding vitality, and, above all, the spontaneity and gusto of the technique, counteract any such tendency. In this result a premier place is claimed for the technique. If we try to imagine the scene rendered with a less vivacious brush—with the timid handling and pasty material of a Paul Delaroche say, or the harder precision of a Gerome—what is the result ? The writer at least believes that the morbid element would assert itself, and that the picture might even become one of ghastly contrasts and trivial sentiment. For it is the same trumpet note—cri de clarion —of colour and execution that transforms Rubens’s martyrdoms and crucifixions into veritable triumphs, that saves this incident, in the hands of Phillip, from anything of the unpleasantness to which the subject was peculiarly open.

The pictorial arrangement and technical qualities which count for so much with Phillip may be briefly adverted to. Though the first impression is of dazzling and pervading light, the left half and foreground of the canvas are in broad shadow. Even of the crowded groups in the open space the musicians and those beyond show more of dark than light, owing to the incidence of the sun’s rays and the distribution of local colour. The illusion of light comes mainly from the use made of the central figure and the way she is related to her surroundings. The devices by which this has been attained are worth consideration. The senorita has the finer proportions and complexion—a sort of deadened olive—of a grade or two higher in the social scale than her sister revellers. Her magnificent appointment tells the same tale. With white floating shawl and voluminous skirts of rose pink, held so as to expose a snowy fringe of laced petticoat, she seems to radiate light all about her. This comes not of her brilliant apparel merely, but because of its relation to similar or consenting hues around. The rosy tones of the architecture, the concert of warm and cooler whites, of neutrals, turquoise, and lemon, by which she is surrounded, the fierce refraction from the sun-baked ground, and the flaming skirt of a woman seated close by, help alike to feed and to diffuse the light she emits. Farther off, the crimson and black ribbon-knots of the guitar accent it by contrast, and the varied colours of shawl and uniform carry the sparkle to the farthest limits of the crowd, the sun’s fiery finger mingling it even with the cooler breadths of shadow. The technique is delightful. By this time Phillip had attained full mastery of his materials, and it is a treat, for those who can appreciate the management of the brush, to follow his fluent hand through this brilliant orchestration of grave and gay. In some of his later pictures the bravura is carried farther and the adaptation of means to an end is perhaps more striking. But, with a sufficiency of racy handling, there is here a closer rendering of the beauty and character of some of the individual heads hardly to be found in those others. How reticent is the treatment, for example, in that of the central figure. The brush seems to dwell on and caress the mobile features and silky skin, adapting itself with ease to the modelling of the various surfaces, and following the lie and grain of the flesh in a way that is too often forgotten in modem methods. Again, in the nearest guitar player, where the expression of mixed emotions—the exaltation and excitement of song and dance, and sympathy with the mourners —demanded a graver method, could any more searching analysis have succeeded better than the free yet careful handling here employed ? The brush is fuller, the material more succulent than in the face of the dancing girl, and the slightly-drawn brow and starting tear are achieved with a softness and suavity of touch which exactly fulfil the purpose. The group of which she forms one, with their bravery of striped fabrics and gaudy kerchiefs, supplies one of the most fascinating passages of the picture. The heads are less dwelt on as they recede from the centre of interest; that of the smiling matador is more fully realised than those of the gipsy-like loungers in sombrero and shirt-sleeves, though the half-shaded face of one is painted with rare verve and a more loaded pigment of rich quality. The faces of the group in shadow are treated with a handling in consonance with the greater breadth and restfulness of those parts. As to accessories, the artist’s hand seems to revel in the picturesque environment, and in the coarser or finer fabrics and adornments in which Spain is so rich. With large but well-considered brushwork he sweeps in the broader surfaces, and over these, especially in the lighter passages, one can mark the glazings and scumblings, and the raspings of heavier consistency which give completion to the forms and resonance to the colour. The bold plum-coloured stripes in the dress of the guitar player, and the orange, turquoise, and red, of the kerchiefs with which she and her companions are bedecked, are thus superimposed on a more solid under-painting. Again, the brilliance of the dancing girl’s skirt is due to the manner in which the pure rose colour is rippled over the warm white groundwork, and given form to by a few flicks and heavier brushings which unite the two processes. Flower and pendant which light up cheek and hair, and the metallic frippery of the bull-fighter, are added with a heavier material and a keener touch. La Gloria has found an appropriate home in the National Gallery of Scotland.

For long Phillip’s health had been fragile, and now there remained to him only a year or two of precarious life. Nevertheless, the two Academy exhibitions to which he was still able to contribute, contained each a picture embodying his finest qualities. The first of these, The Early Career of Murillo, was his largest and most ambitious, whilst A Chat round the Brasero, of 1866, showed that to the end there was no failure either of hand or eye. The canvas is small compared with those of the two preceding years, and the subject has no claim to rank in importance with either. But the humorous theme—a priest retailing some bit of piquant scandal to a company of women and girls—is sufficient for the artist’s needs, as it would have sufficed Jan Steen, who might have used it in a more questionable manner. Here it simply gives point to one of those flowerlike arrangements of shawl, skirt, and bodice, through which Phillip can appeal so strongly to the aesthetic sense. A something more even of racy fluency belongs to the finished sketch f for this picture.

Interspersed with those productions of his later years come numerous portraits, only a few of which were seen at the Royal Academy. Amongst the best are the small three-quarter lengths of Mr. W. B. Johnstone, R.S.A-,2 and his wife,* and the life-size portrait of the former, f The pair were exhibited at the Scottish Academy is 1862; the other is signed 1865. In the earlier portrait, Mr. Johnstone, seated by a writing-table, turns with careless action towards the light, leaning an elbow on the near arm of his easy chair. The flesh, rich and juicy in colour, is wrought with a more intimate modelling and discrimination of the niceties of character than usual, and with the happiest result. The hazel eye, the swarthy cheek, the lank grizzled hair, and the loosely-knit figure, recall the man with a strange vividness across the lapse of years. Mrs. Johnstone shows a different manner. Phillip’s brush adapts itself to his fair-complexioned, smooth-skinned subject, and the sweet, placid features are modelled with a broader, softer touch. The life-sized bust of Mr. Johnstone is a somewhat more brusque, though no less characteristic, presentment of the man. This time he is seen almost in profile, with the light falling full on cheek and temple Painted on a rougher ground, the consequent heavier loading fails here and there to indicate the finer modulation of the parts, yet the portrait is almost startling in its realism and vitality. The light seems positively to glister on the high-toned flesh of brow and temple; and the more weathered skin drawn tightly over the jaw, the hair now whiter and more sparse, and the goat-like beard are expressed with a master hand. The three-quarter length of Miss Caird,t painted during his last working year, taken in connection with those already mentioned, shows what Phillip might have accomplished had he devoted himself to portraiture. It is quite unlike the others. The young lady— a blonde—is seen full face, seated on a wayside bank with dark foliage and a glimpse of sky and landscape for background. The pose, the dress of light blue and the pink quilted petticoat, bring suggestions of both Reynolds and Gainsborough. But the painting is unlike that of either; it is John Phillip dealing with a colour-scheme the very antipodes of those to which his Spanish work had accustomed him. That imports little to the true artist, such changes only give zest to his efforts. Consequently it is not surprising that the hand which had depicted with such mastery the olive cheek and strongly contrasted draperies of Andalusia should be equally successful with the blue and blonde and pink of the north. Deprived of the sunlight and the more picturesque costume of Spain, he finds an equally artistic scheme of colour and chiaroscuro in the less marked oppositions and more lightsome harmonies that here lie to his hand. The technical qualities are those of the pictures already described; the painting of a tan-coloured terrier on the lady’s knee—a few dark strokes over a lighter transparent ground—is a miracle of the brush. During the last year of his life Phillip paid a visit to Italy, and one of the three pictures sent by his executors to the Royal Academy of 1867—Antonia—was painted whilst on this long-deferred pilgrimage to the artist’s Mecca. He died on February 27, 1867, at the age of forty-nine.

In a fine appreciation of the painter, written nearly twenty years ago, Sir Walter Armstrong says : “ For the moment Phillip’s art is in some degree out of fashion. It is too simple, too direct, too blissfully content in its appeal to sense, to please those who like a picture to be a little mysterious. . . . And so, to a generation which falls down and worships Rossetti and Burne Jones, and Watts and Holman Hunt, his pictures seem a little unexciting.” It is to be feared that, though the worship of some of these may not be so ardent as it was, the art of John Phillip is not yet appreciated at its true value. This seems strange, considering the enthusiasm with which his later pictures were hailed both by his brother artists and by the public. It brought him the two steps of academic honour in quick succession, the happy title “Phillip of Spain,” said to have been first conferred by Queen Victoria, and a golden harvest he esteemed less. But all through the last forty years of the nineteenth century, that love of the mysterious, the complex, the recondite, to which the author of “ Scottish Painters" alludes, went on increasingly. In literature, the poems and sonnets and novels of various favourite authors were so worded as to recall the phrase attributed to Talleyrand that “ language was given to man to enable him to conceal his thoughts.” There was, of course, its analogue in painting both as regards subject and execution. Those figures whose weary gestures and lack-lustre eyes meant unutterable things to the frequenters of London galleries during the later seventies and eighties, were equalled only by a bizarrerie of technique which exercised the ingenuity of a public not averse to the mild excitement of puzzling out its raison d'etre. The frame even became a matter of importance, and, at times, the picture invaded it. In other cases, the subject was hidden away altogether under slushings of tone and quality, and it was especially on these last that the advanced connoisseur expatiated to his heart’s content. Mystery, no doubt, has its value in Art, but it can easily be overdone. Of that sentiment, tender or wistful or pensive, which lends such charm to Autumn Leaves, The Return of the Dove, and The Huguenot, there is no trace in the works of Phillip, either Scottish or Spanish. And of the searching intimacy of technique through which alone the finer shades of expression are attainable there is too little. Nay, it must be conceded that in much of the work of his earlier Spanish period there is a want of distinction both in treatment and execution that surprises one when compared with the work of a few years later. But an artist’s measure is his best work, and in Phillip’s case there is enough of the higher quality to place him in the front rank of British painters. It is matter of regret, no doubt, that the prodigious activity of his latest years prevented his producing more pictures of the type of La Gloria, where the most subtle shades of expression and emotion give an added grace to the spontaneity of the handling. El Cigarillo, Faith, and The Wine Drinkers of his best period show what such a technique, at once strong and tender, was capable of. But not a few of his last works—fifty-six half-finished pictures were taken from his studio after his death—give the impression of one who knew that his time was short, and that it behoved him to set down as much as possible of the subjects that were crowding his brain.

In discussing Phillip’s place as a colourist, he has been compared and contrasted with Rossetti and Burne Jones. But with these the term carries a different meaning. They are colourists in the sense that allies the painter’s art with that of the glass-stainer and the illuminator. Phillip’s colour, on the other hand, is inseparable from his play of brush; for all the finer transitions that give value to his more positive hues are obtained by artifices infinitely more subtle than the laboured and complex harmonisations of the Pre-Raphaelite and Neo-Pre-Raphaelite. With the Scottish master, as with all great brushmen, the gradation is a thing impalpable, that would shift with the turning of face or limb ; in a word, his colour is bound up with incidence of light, and a handling that leaves no sense of labour. It may be that, analysed, his tints are commonplace—so are those of Rubens—but out of such, through that alchemy of brain and hand which constitutes the craft of painting, the master colourists have obtained their most splendid results. For here, again, as in the vast compositions of the “Leo Belgicus " and Tintoretto, there is the flying hand which seems everywhere at once, evoking from the canvas tones strong or tender, brilliant or negative, as occasion requires. And surely, in a school that has suffered from the premature decay of so many of its best productions, it is something to be thankful for that Phillip evolved a method which, whilst it conserved all that was best in its traditions, restored to it on a wider field and in a more brilliant key, the qualities of virility and permanence with which Raeburn had endowed it sixty years earlier. The pity of it is that his work ended ere it was well begun. In Duncan, Scott, Simson, and others of later date, the Scottish school has had to mourn many lives unfulfilled, but never a sorer loss than when the shears of Fate cut short the career of “Phillip of Spain.”

Of the many Scottish artists who have practised history painting, Drummond is the one who has clung most faithfully to the delineation of the past of his own country, and especially of its capital. Only once during forty-three years does the entry A Portrait occur in the Scottish Academy catalogues, and in 1843, when he contributed A Landscape, he is careful to enter it as by James Drummond, amateur. During that long period, fully three-fourths of his more important subjects relate to Edinburgh and its immediate vicinity. From first to last the titles of his pictures show how thoroughly he was steeped in the history and antiquarian lore of the country and city of his birth. To the latter he rendered the additional service of preserving in a series of ninety-five drawings, now in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, a record of many interesting localities and buildings since swept away, or remodelled out of all recognition by municipal authorities and Improvement Trusts.

Drummond’s elaborate compositions are more interesting from the antiquarian and historical than from the aesthetic point of view. All that an intimate acquaintance with the circumstances and spirit of the time and accuracy of setting and detail could compass was set forth in those stirring incidents of national history; but the impression left is far from adequate to the labour and industry expended. As a rule, his work has little to recommend it to the craftsman. Based on the orthodox Scottish manner, he lacks that sense of colour and conduct of the brush, which, in the hands of its abler exponents, renders the method so interesting. In such pictures as Montrose and Mary, Queen of Scots—both at the Mound—the careful modelling and laboured character of the numerous heads furnish but another instance of how impossible the finer shades of expression are to an inadequate technique, and how dependent are movement and vivacity on a light hand and suggestive touch. The Montrose offends against every artistic and aesthetic principle in its melodrama, its confusion of scale, and clumsy drawing of men and horses— in the unpleasant juxtaposition of colours and the incoherence of its lightsome setting with the blackness and density below. It is pleasant to turn from such a picture to the simpler James I. of Scotland sees his future Queen, the artist’s diploma work, where the royal captive, seated at a half-open window, beholds, to quote his own words—

“The fairest and the freshest younge flower
That ever I saw methought before that hour.”

Here the scheme of light and shade is broad, effective, and so disposed as to assist and enhance the central motive. The colour quality is not above the usual-—the face, seen in profile, looks as if carved out of ivory—but it avoids the harsh juxtapositions of the Montrose, and in the hangings and various accessories Drummond here adds to his precision and skill of detail, something of a larger and more virile manipulation. The picture is dated 1851. Four years later, in The Porteous Mob, the painter is seen at his best, for he brings before us with something of the same vividness the sudden midnight tragedy described in the opening chapters of “The Heart of Midlothian.” The scene is viewed from the Cowgate near its abutment on the Grassmarket, and the moment is that when the rioters, emerging from the West Bow, carry Porteous towards the dyester’s pole, where their purpose was carried out. The street and the picturesque tenements on either hand teem with life. Various of the incidents which marked the occasion are depicted in the foreground, and other likely touches have been added. There is much spirit and a finer sense of movement than usual in the rendering of some of these. Nor does this tumultuous foreground detract from the main interest, which lies in the open space beyond. Rather it supplies at once a foil and a much-needed distraction from a scene which would have been too painful had its horrors been insisted on. With a true dramatic instinct Drummond has only hinted at the consummation of the tragedy in a few figures seen against, or dimly illuminated by, the murky glow of the torches. But these figures of the victim and his bearers, those who hurry on the preparations about the extemporised gibbet, and the man whose commanding gesture is silhouetted against the light, dominate the canvas. One hardly looks for colour and atmosphere any more than for mastery of the brush in Drummond’s pictures, hut here the luminous sky, the visionary bulk of the castle, and the quaint house fronts and gables rising from the tawdry to the serener light, are painted with a truly sympathetic brush.

Return to Book Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus