Fishers in the Snow

© the artist's estate / Bridgeman Images. Image credit: Scottish Parliament Art Collection

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This large-scale painting depicts the artist’s iconography of a winter’s day fishing scene, drawn from his own experiences growing up in Port Seton, a Scottish fishing town on the coast of the Firth of Forth.

The central group of fishermen also recall earlier representations of burial scenes, in particular Gustave Courbet’s 'A Burial at Ornans' and James Guthrie’s 'A Highland Funeral'. The painting refers to fishing as a form of sacrificing nature to nourish human life and is typical of the artist’s use of autobiographical material to explore universal themes and the human condition.

The Scottish Parliament



Fishers in the Snow




oil on board


H 250.7 x W 326.9 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from the artist, 2004

Work type


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Normally on display at

The Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH99 1SP Scotland

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