John Warwick Smith (1749–1831)

Glensanda Castle, Loch Linnhe, North West Highlands of Scotland

Watercolour, 14 x 21 cm (51/2 x 81/4 in), Circa 1795, Provenance: Marshall Spink, Miss D Hamilton Northern Ireland. £6,500

The Highland tour which became obligatory for artists in the 18th century extended from Loch Lomond and Inveraray in the south west and west, to Perth in the east, and thence north to Blair Atholl and to Glencoe and Loch Leven. There is no record of a Warwick Smith tour of Scotland in the existing biographies, but in 1795 he was commissioned by the 4th Duke of Atholl to record the Manx scene during Atholl’s governorship there, and it is highly likely that this connection continued afterwards. The Duke’s main seats were at Dunkeld (the Hermitage was renamed Ossian’s Hall) and at Blair Atholl, both en route to to Glencoe. So it is highly likely that Smith was working to further commissions from the Duke. Loch Linnie lies just to the west of Glencoe and was very much on the itinerary of artists who had reached this, the furthest point on the tour. The 15th century castle, home of the Macleans, on a grassy knoll looking towards Appin, was derelict by the 1780’s.

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