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McCulloch, Horatio

Horatio McCULLOCH (1805-67)

A Glasgow-born landscape painter specialising in the scenery of Western Scotland, formerly a pupil of John Knox (1778-1845). He first earned his living as a decorative painter, painting ornamental lids of snuffboxes and, later, colouring the illustrations in Prideaux John Selby’s ‘British Birds’.

McCulloch moved to Edinburgh in 1825 and began painting in the tradition of Alexander Naysmyth. In 1829 he first exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy’s exhibition. His landscape paintings celebrate the romantic scenery of the Scottish Highlands, emphasising its dramatic grandeur and his summer sketching tours of the West Highlands inspired some of his most powerful paintings, which were created back in the studio.

He first visited Arran in 1833 and in 1834 exhibited two pictures of Arran at the Royal Scottish Academy, Glen Sannox and A Scene in the Isle of Arran. The second of these may be the same picture as Summer Day, Arran, which depicts a trading vessel dried out on the shore (probably at Brodick), with hills in the background.

In 1834 McCulloch also painted Arran as seen from Bute, with sunshine breaking through a rain cloud, possibly the same picture as his work named Thunder Shower in Arran.

In 1835 McCulloch exhibited Glen Rosa, and Druidical Stones, Isle of Arran, Moonlight (a stone circle) at the Royal Scottish Academy.

He was elected full Academician of the Scottish Academy in 1838.

McCulloch’s subsequent RSA exhibits will include Arran from Ettrick Bay (1842), Loch Fad, Arran in Distance (1844), and Druidical Stones, Isle of Arran(1846).

McCulloch died in Edinburgh in 1867 and is buried at Warriston Cemetery.

Colin Cowley : Booklet: Arran Art

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