From his exhibition records this artist was working between the years 1890 and 1925. John Hamilton Glass exhibited paintings at the Scottish Society of Artists 19 times, the Glasgow Institute of Fine Art, Dublin’s Royal Hibernian Academy, as well as various northern British venues. It has been said that he may have been the son of an accomplished artist with the same name who mysteriously gave up painting upon his arrival in Australia in 1885.
In any case, we may say that this artist was working during the peak of Impressionism. His expert use of light and fluid brush strokes are signs of its influence. Without a human figure, Glass has captured a natural, magical time and place in its essence.
A plaque on the front reads: “Willows on the Tyne, Exhibited Society of Scottish Artists, 1907.” This Tyne river is not the major one a bit further south in England, but a scenic traditional salmon and sea trout river just south of Edinburgh. A small label on the back gives a fuller name of the painting with the addition of “near Pentcaitland,” the number for the piece at the 1907 exhibition (393), and possibly the price. A larger label reads: “Thirteenth Annual Exhibition of the Society of Scottish Artists, R.S.A. National Galleries, 1907.” A label from an Edinburgh gallery shows that the painting was exhibited there in 1983, and that it was originally exhibited in 1907 at the SSA. What remains of an old North British Railway label is also on the back. The work is signed on the lower left corner along with the date of 1905.
Subtly beautiful as it is, make no mistake: at just over 5 feet wide and nearly 40-1/2 inches in height, including the massive Victorian wood and gesso, gilded frame, this is a large painting. The frame is the original and comes in at a hefty weight; it is five inches wide and 4 inches deep. There is a traditional connected leaf design that stands out on the edge of this wonderful decorative frame. It has a wide, gilded slip that adds to the overall impressiveness of the painting within its frame. The painting will take a professional to prepare it for shipping with a wooden crate, and it will require someone with experience to hang it.
This is a dreamy, ethereal landscape that will look as if it has been in your home for over a hundred years as soon as it is hung. Its impressive size and the fact that it was exhibited at the Society of Scottish Artists 114 years ago only adds to its value.
The condition of the painting is excellent. The frame is also in excellent condition, with only minor gesso losses here and there, which would be expected in such a large antique piece.
Large Landscape, “Willows on the Tyne,” by J. Hamilton Glass
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