Glasgow Boys Exhibition

Glasgow Boys – The Pioneering Painters 1880-1900

This Exhibition shows how Scottish art moved away from the Victorian sentimental image of the mid-1800’s to a more realistic depiction of life in Scotland in the late Victorian period. Prior to the emergence of the Glasgow Boys many paintings were “Brigadoon” depictions of Scotland with no basis in reality. They were produced for an English middle-class market who wanted Scottish paintings to hang on their walls. An artist called Thomas Faed was a master of these works and people would visit galleries in great numbers to view his latest painting. You can see some of his paintings in Kelvingrove, including The Last of Clan. (above)

The Glasgow Boys were a loose group of artists living and working in the West of Scotland who were influenced by the French artist Jules Bastien-Lepage. One of Lepage’s works, The Beggar (1880) forms part of the exhibition, and was first shown in Glasgow in 1883. They also challenged the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh which at that time insisted on an Edinburgh address for membership.

These two paintings (Thomas Faed’s Last of the Clan and James’ Guthrie’s Old Willie – the Village Worthy) display the difference in the artists’ portrayals of Scotland.

The Exhibition contains some of the major works by the Glasgow Boys and gives an introduction to their work, looks at the areas they worked in (including Kirkcudbright, Cockburnspath and Brig o’Turk), their visits and influences from abroad (Grez-Sur-Loing in France and Japan) and their depictions of both rural and City life.

The Glasgow Boys’ Exhibition runs until September at Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.

In conjunction with Visit Scotland’s Perfect Days Out, Intermezzo are offering a daytime tour of Kelvingrove which also includes a ticket to the Glasgow Boys Exhibition for £20. To book call us on 0141 636 6929 or email us at