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Wingate, Sir James Lawton

The work of Sir James Lawton Wingate (1846 - 1924) is best known to those on Arran through the book 'Arran of the Bens, the Glens and the Brave' which was published in 1911. Written by MacKenzie MacBride, the guide to the island was heavily illustrated with the paintings of Wingate which ranged from images of villagers in the landscape, to mountain and seascapes.

A prolific artist, Wingate was widely acknowledged as one of Scotland's most prominent landscape painters during his lifetime. This was confirmed by his Presidency of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1919, and his Knighthood in the same year.

The Glasgow born painter had a long and enduring relationship with the island, painting some of his finest work on Arran.

It was the large skies and coastlines, the dramatic sunsets, and the effects of the light on Arran, all painted in a style deeply influenced by the Scottish Impressionists for which he will be chiefly remembered. Examples of his work such as Kilbrannan Sound, painted near Catacol, are held in the collections of the National Galleries of Scotland.

Wingate was also often accompanied by his wife Katherine Hill Wingate, who painted the McTaggart influenced seascape Arran Morning Light in 1916. Their daughter Helen Wingate (1886-38) also painted on the island. She exhibited under the names Helen Ainsley Wingate and as a married woman Helen Ainsley Thornton.

His work can be seen in the public collections of Aberdeen Art Gallery, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, City of Edinburgh Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh University Art Collection, the Dick Institute, Fife Council, Glasgow Museums, Hunterian, McLean Museum and Art Gallery, McManus Galleries and Museum, National Gallery of Scotland, Paisley Art Gallery, Perth & Kinross Council and Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum.


Arran of the Bens, the Glens & the Brave by MacKenzie MacBride, with illustrations by J. Lawton Wingate. Published by T. N. Foulis, London & Edinburgh, 1910.

Catalogue of fifty paintings by J. Lawton Wingate, RSA with a preface by John Miller Gray. Catalogue of an exhibition held at and published by Aitken Dott, at the Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, 26 Nov.-15 Dec. 1900.

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