Skip to contentSkip to navigation
Become a Member
Explore today's schedule
Visit MMFA for free by becoming a Member
Learn more
Back
Currently shown
John MacWhirter

The Valley of Slaughter, Skye

Artist

John MacWhirter
Slateford, Scotland, 1839 – London 1911

Title

The Valley of Slaughter, Skye

Date

1876

Materials

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

88.3 x 134.6 cm

Credits

Gift of Lord Strathcona and family, inv. 1927.319

Collection

Western Art

In this painting, MacWhirter illustrates the magnificent force of nature in his native Scotland, where he was primarily known as a watercolourist. The scene depicted here is on the Isle of Skye, in the Hebrides, known for its mountain scenery and its history, associated with the Norse invasion and settlement. In 1896, MacWhirter provided illustrations for an article in Magazine of Art describing the beauty of Skye’s landscape, where the “play of light and shade at morning and at evening upon these marvelous crags and peaks” is often seen “under driving mist and storm cloud,” giving them “a most impressive appearance.” MacWhirter's paintings exemplify what the celebrated English critic Ruskin described as "the contemplative order" of landscape. MacWhirter instructed his students to "study Turner for light and atmosphere, Millais for everything."

A touch of culture to your inbox
Subscribe to the Museum newsletter

Bourgie Hall Newsletter sign up

This website uses cookies in order to optimize your browsing experience and for promotional purposes. To learn more, please see our policy on the protection of personal Iinformation