A Highland Funeral
By Sir James Guthrie

A Highland Funeral
By Sir James Guthrie
In the Glasgow Art Gallery

It is always interesting to study the early work of popular artists, to observe the budding talent as well as the tendencies which afterwards develop into a mature and characteristic style. The "Highland Funeral" contains abundant evidence of the young painter's great gifts, which in after years were to raise him to the pre-eminent position in Scottish art. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1882, when he was but twenty-three years of age, and afterwards appeared in the Glasgow Institute, where it found a purchaser in the late Dr. Forbes white. It was bequeathed to the Glasgow Corporation by Sir James Gardiner, a cousin of the artist in 1903, the year after Sir James Guthrie was unanimously elected President of the Royal Scottish Academy. Considered as the work of a mere youth, the painting is a remarkable effort. The psychological insight it displays, the poignant sorrow which it so well expresses, and the sincerity and force with which it is painted, all combine to make it a noteworthy performance. Save in its portraiture of individuals and the delineation of types, it does not suggest the power of the artist's later work except in its freedom from unessential trivialities. Viewed on its own merits, however, the picture has a claim on the spectators' attention apart from being an example of precocity. Originally intended for the legal profession, Guthrie had no systematic training in art. He left Glasgow in 1879 to study in Paris, but he remained in London on the advice of John Pettie, in whose studio in St. John's Wood he observed the craft of picture-making and received much valuable counsel. Speedy justification followed his determination to adopt Art as a career. Nine years after he journeyed to London he was elected an Associate of the Scottish Academy, becoming a full member five years later, and President nine years after that.

From the book "Famous Paintings" printed in 1913.

Large files of this public domain print are available at Stock Photos at Songs of Praise
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Online "Name the Painting"

Sir James Guthrie Biography

Sir James Guthrie
at Wikipedia

To Pastures New

Sir James Guthrie
Tate Gallery

Miss Helen Sowerby
by Guthrie

Three Portraits by Guthrie
National Portrait Gallery

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I remember looking at this painting when I was a child with my dad. We just gazed at it and both of us really took in the painting, the expressions on the faces, particularly what we thought (near the coffin) was the father and son perhaps? Btw, my dad had a sister, Cathy who I never met and she had a daughter called (well hope I'm remembering correctly, from my late mum telling me she had been speaking to someone at a family funeral, called) Zena? :-)
Barbara Rose
can someone please tell me who died and where in the painting by guthrie in highland funeral. It does not give story it only talks about himself, who was the boy and where was he

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Famous Paintings in this Series

M. Bompard

A Prayer to the Madonna


The Madonna and Child

Sir Edward Coley

King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid

Sir Edward Coley

The Mill

Jean Charles Cazin


John Constable

Boat-Building Near
Flatford Mill

John Crome

On the Skirts of the Forest

Pascal Adolphe Jean

The Blessed Bread

Theophile Emanuel Duverger


C.W. Furse

Diana of the Uplands

W.H. Gore


Peter Graham

A Rainy Day

Jean Baptiste Greuze

The Listening Girl

Sir James Guthrie

A Highland Funeral

Frans Hals

A Man With a Glove
In His Hand

Hans Holbein the Younger

The Ambassadors

Henry Holiday

Dante and Beatrice

Sir Edwin Landseer


Sir Edwin Landseer

A Naughty Child

H.H. La Thangue

Mowing Bracken

Sir Thomas Lawrence

Caroline of Brunswick,
Queen of George IV.

G.D. Leslie

Sun and Moon Flowers

J. Seymour Lucas


Jean Louis Ernest

The Print Collector

Jean Francois Millet

The Angelus

Jean Francois Millet

Going to Work

Sir William Quiller

The Farmer's Daughter

Ralph Peacock



His Own Portrait

Sir Joshua Reynolds

The Infant Samuel

Sir Joshua Reynolds

The Strawberry Girl

George Romney

The Parson's Daughter

W. Dendy Sadler

A Good Story

W. Dendy Sadler


William Small

The Last Match

J.M. Swan

On the Alert,
Lioness and Cubs

J.M.W. Turner

Peace: Burial at Sea of the
Body of Sir David Wilkie

J.M.W. Turner

Rain Steam and Speed
The Great Western Railway


Portrait of a Spanish Lady
"La Femme a L'Eventail"

Frederick Walker

The Vagrants

George Frederick Watts


James McNeill Whistler

My Mother

Anders Zorn

A Fisherman

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Famous Paintings