Walton produced this important work alongside James Guthrie, one of his peers in the Glasgow Boys, at Cockburnspath in Berwickshire. The rich colours are unusual for Walton, who generally worked in more muted tones. It was painted in the midday sun and has a real feeling of warmth and light which is more the emphasis than capturing the workers’ activity. This was one of his last works in oil, as he later took a preference to watercolours.
Edward Arthur Walton
91.4 x 60.9 cm
Oil on canvas
Date of work
Original: Oil on canvas, 91.4 x 60.9 cm ® Tate, London
A leading member of the Glasgow Boys, Walton trained in Düsseldorf and at the Glasgow School of Art. During the early 1880s the whole group rejected historical subject matter and academic finish and painted contemporary, mainly rural subjects, working en plein air. Walton lived in London for 10 years where he was a close friend and neighbour of Whistler. In 1904 he settled in Edinburgh where James Guthrie, President of the Royal Scottish Academy, supported his career through portrait commissions. Towards the end of his life he resumed his outdoor landscape painting, with a particular passion for Galloway.