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Dumfries and Galloway is Scotland's southwestern region. It is an area that is rich in history and culture, and this has been captured by artists throughout the years. This curation is an attempt at demonstrating the variety of art, artists, and subject matter within Dumfries and Galloway. It moves from landscapes to people.

21 artworks

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Kingholm Quay, Dumfries, 1849
Photo credit: Dumfries and Galloway Council

A View of History

Joseph Watson painted scenes around Dumfries. Here, Kingholm Quay is almost unrecognisable as the major port it was in the nineteenth century. His artwork is a useful historical record of what Dumfries used to look like.

Kingholm Quay, Dumfries, 1849
Joseph Watson (1808–1878)
Oil on board
H 21 x W 34.2 cm
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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Sandhead, Luce Bay
Photo credit: Dumfries and Galloway Council

A View of History

Robert George Kelly was an Irish born painter, who lived in Stranraer and painted scenes of Galloway, before moving to England. This depiction of the village of Sandhead in the Rhins of Galloway, shows it as a thriving small fishing village.

Sandhead, Luce Bay 1850s–1860s
Robert George Kelly (1822–1910)
Oil on canvas
H 15.8 x W 26.1 cm
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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Stake Nets on the Solway
Photo credit: Dumfries and Galloway Council

A View of History

George Wright was a late Victorian-Edwardian landscape artist from Annan. Here he has painted a traditional method of salmon fishing in the Inner Solway, where nets erected between poles would trap fish moving with the tides.

Stake Nets on the Solway
George Wright (1851–1916)
Oil on board
H 18.5 x W 31 cm
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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Threave Castle*
Photo credit: National Trust for Scotland, Threave Estate

A View of History

Threave Castle is a major landmark in the Stewarty area of Dumfries and Galloway. Formerly a fortified house, built in the fourteenth century on an island in the River Dee by Archibald the Grim, it is now a picturesque ruin. The surrounding area is a nature reserve.

Threave Castle* 1881
M. M. Harper
Oil on canvas
H 50 x W 75.2 cm
National Trust for Scotland, Threave Estate

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Waterlilies
Photo credit: National Trust for Scotland, Broughton House & Garden

Changing Subject

Edward Atkinson Hornel owned Broughton House and Garden in Kirkcudbright, which is now a National Trust for Scotland property. He was a member of The Glasgow Boys group of artists and held a continuing interest in the art and cultures of Asia. In contrast to the earlier landscapes, the focus of this painting is on a small detail, the flower in the waterlilies.

Waterlilies 1899–1912
Edward Atkinson Hornel (1864–1933)
Oil on canvas on panel
H 60.5 x W 50.8 cm
National Trust for Scotland, Broughton House & Garden

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Harvesting in Galloway
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: National Trust for Scotland, Culzean Castle, Garden & Country Park

Changing Subject

Adam Bruce Thomson is one of the Edinburgh School group of artists. His vividly coloured landscape contains lots of suggestion of movement, even in the absence of the farm-workers who have created the stooks of wheat. In contrast to the earlier landscapes there is a strong sense of the changing seasons in this painting.

Harvesting in Galloway
Adam Bruce Thomson (1885–1976)
Oil on canvas
H 55.9 x W 76.2 cm
National Trust for Scotland, Culzean Castle, Garden & Country Park

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Art in Concrete
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Harbour Cottage Trust

Changing Subject

Charles Oppenheimer moved to Kirkcudbright in 1908 and lived there until he died in 1961. He painted places around him, though his natural landscapes often contain some evidence of human presence. In this painting, Oppenheimer shows the building of a dam as part of the Galloway hydro-electric power scheme of the 1930s. The title, 'Art in Concrete' suggests his awe and fascination with these structures, elevating them to the level of art in his eyes.

Art in Concrete c.1933
Charles Oppenheimer (1875–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 99.2 x W 129.3 cm
Harbour Cottage Trust

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A Sun-Dappled Pool
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Dumfries and Galloway Council

Changing Subject

This landscape is unusual in Oppenheimer's works for being totally natural. But it demonstrates his skill and sensitivity as a painter with its delicate depiction of light and water. The inspiration for this painting probably came from Oppenheimer's hobby of fishing.

A Sun-Dappled Pool
Charles Oppenheimer (1875–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 70 x W 90.3 cm
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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Solway Night
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: NHS Dumfries and Galloway

The Modern View

Archie Sutter Watt was a prominent local painter in the twentieth century, as well as a teacher at schools throughout the region. Watt was prominently involved in the local art community as a founder and organiser of societies, as well as being popularly exhibited. His choice of landscapes and colour is deeply evocative of Dumfries and Galloway.

Solway Night 2003
Archie Sutter Watt (1915–2005)
Oil & colour on paper
H 52.6 x W 73.2 cm
NHS Dumfries and Galloway

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Kirkcudbright Landscape
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Dumfries and Galloway Council

The Modern View

Teresa Durà Branson moved to Kirkcudbright in 1970 and lived there until she died in 2016. In this landscape painting she captures the lively, fast moving light of the Stewartry coast, without showing the coastline. Kirkcudbright is a popular place for artists to live, and is known as 'the artists town'. Because of this it has been painted many times, often showing the village at the water's edge or the river.

Kirkcudbright Landscape
Teresa Durà Branson (1935–2016)
Oil on canvas
H 49.5 x W 59.6 cm
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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Late Flight
© the artist. Photo credit: NHS Dumfries and Galloway

The Modern View

John Threlfall is a contemporary painter of nature, landscapes and birds. The subject matter and title of Light Flight is reminiscent of the works of Sir Peter Scott, a conservationist known for his work with wild geese, culminating in the founding of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, who manage a reserve at Caerlaverock. Threlfall, however, is a more skilled painter than Scott. Threlfall captures the changing weather of the Solway exceptionally in this evocative painting.

Late Flight
John Threlfall (b.1958)
Oil on board
H 46.2 x W 68.5 cm
NHS Dumfries and Galloway

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Nith Valley
© the artist. Photo credit: NHS Dumfries and Galloway

The Modern View

In this painting by Alexander Rhynd Robb, we see the vividness of the Nithsdale landscape on a sunny winter's day. The vibrant birch trees on the hill contrast with the rigid conifer tree on the flat farmed landscape. It shows a more modern style of landscape painting, perhaps influenced by Adam Bruce Thomson's Harvesting in Galloway in its use of bold colours.

Nith Valley
Alexander Rhynd Robb (b.1950)
Oil on canvas
H 58.6 x W 74.2 cm
NHS Dumfries and Galloway

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Kitchen in Daylight
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Dumfries and Galloway Council

A Modern Style

Rosemary Gascoyne moved to Galloway in 1989, after having studied for a degree in fine art in her 40s. Her work demonstrates a bold use of colour and light and is unconstrained by traditional attempts at representation.

Kitchen in Daylight 1981
Rosemary Gascoyne (1936–2012)
Oil on canvas
H 167.5 x W 102 cm
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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Robert Burns
Photo credit: South Ayrshire Council

The People of the Place

Robert Burns was one of Dumfries's most well-known and famous citizens. Though born in Ayrshire, he wrote many of his best-loved and most famous works in his time at Ellisland farm, just outside Dumfries, and at two properties within the town. This portrait is different from the widely known depiction, showing more of the body, and with a perhaps impatient expression on his face.

Robert Burns
Alexander Nasmyth (1758–1840) (after)
Oil on canvas
H 110.8 x W 85 cm
South Ayrshire Council

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Jean Armour Burns (Bonnie Jean) (1765–1834)
Photo credit: Dumfries and Galloway Council

The People of the Place

Jean Armour was Robert Burns's wife, a popular and well-known figure in the community. After Burns's early death in 1796, Armour lived until 1834. Together they had 9 children, 3 of whom survived into adulthood.

Jean Armour Burns (Bonnie Jean) (1765–1834)
Thomas Corsan Morton (1859–1928)
Oil on canvas
H 73.4 x W 60.8 cm
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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Scene from 'Tam o' Shanter': Tam on a White Horse
Photo credit: South Ayrshire Council

The People of the Place

Robert Burns wrote 'Tam o' Shanter' while living at Ellisland Farm, a few miles northwest of Dumfries. Its popularity as a story has seen it turned into all sorts of decorative objects.

Scene from 'Tam o' Shanter': Tam on a White Horse
T. Dunwell
Oil on canvas
H 19 x W 24.4 cm
South Ayrshire Council

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Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881)
Photo credit: Dumfries and Galloway Council

The People of the Place

Thomas Carlyle was an influential thinker in the nineteenth century. He was born in Ecclefechan, in the east of the region and became a mathematician, a philospher, an essayist and a historian. The house he was born in is now a National Trust for Scotland property.

Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) 1875
Robert Inerarity Herdman (1829–1888)
Oil on canvas
H 68 x W 57.9 cm
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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Jessie M. King
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Dumfries and Galloway Council

The People of the Place

This portrait is of Jessie Marion King, one of The Glasgow Girls group of artists. She moved to Kirkcudbright in 1915 and stayed there until she died in 1949. As well as producing her own art, she taught artists in Kirkcudbright and was an integral part of the town's developing reputation as a place for artists to live, work and study in.

Jessie M. King 1949
Lena Alexander (1899–1983)
Oil on canvas
H 89.5 x W 69 cm
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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Irene as Cinderella
© the artist's estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: Dumfries and Galloway Council

The People of the Place

Cecile Walton lived in Kirkcudbright at the end of her life, although she visited the town throughout her life. It was in Kirkcudbright she studied under Jessie Marion King. Walton was the daughter of E. A. Walton, one of the 'Glasgow Boys', though she became part of the 'Edinburgh School'.

Irene as Cinderella
Cecile Walton (1891–1956)
Oil on canvas
H 37.5 x W 36.7 cm
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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Lady with Honeysuckle
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Dumfries and Galloway Council

The People of the Place

Ethel Susan Graham Bristowe lived in Balmaclellan. Castle Douglas art gallery was her bequest to Galloway. Bristowe's paintings were predominantly still lifes, mostly with flowers and figurines. This, a portrait of a woman smelling a cutting of honeysuckle, is an unusual example of her art.

Lady with Honeysuckle 1930s
Ethel Susan Graham Bristowe (1862–1952)
Oil on canvas
H 65 x W 58.4 cm
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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Girl Reading
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Harbour Cottage Trust

The People of the Place

Vera Alabaster spent the last 14 years of her life in Kirkcudbright, where she produced portraits, still life and landscape paintings. Her portraiture has an exceptional use of light and she is particularly talented at capturing expressions.

Girl Reading
Vera Alabaster (1889–1964)
Oil on canvas
H 62.3 x W 56 cm
Harbour Cottage Trust