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The Scottish Visitors: A Family from Pitlessie

Sir David Wilkie (1785–1841), Pitlessie Fair (detail), 1804. Oil on canvas, 24¼ x 43½ in. Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh. Purchased 1921 (NG 1527)

These might not appear to be the most pious folks—the fifth commandment concerning honoring your parents doesn’t appear to be high on these kids’ list. But read more about how Sir David Wilkie secretly sketched his fellow parishioners in church, and then used those drawings to populate his great painting, Pitlessie Fair from 1804.

The latest of our Scottish visitors, the excerpt below is from the exhibition catalog for Botticelli to Braque: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland, available for purchase in the Museum Store.

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Slow Art Day: Taking Time to Make a Connection

This year amid the installations and exhibitions—the everyday blur of activity at the Museums—we’re excited to host Slow Art Day at the de Young and the Legion of Honor on Saturday, April 11. This is an entire day to make time for connections—between you and an artwork, you and an artist, or just between you and the current moment. The structure of Slow Art Day is simple: visit a museum, choose a work of art and spend five to ten minutes with it. 

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The Scottish Visitors: Berthia Hamilton Don-Wauchope

Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell 1883–1937, Portrait of a Lady in Black, about 1921. Oil on canvas, 30 x 25 inches. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. Bequeathed by Mr and Mrs G.D. Robinson through the Art Fund, 1988

A drawing room with lilac walls and highly polished black floors—and a pile of props like top hats, opera cloaks, and fans. Read more about how Cadell used his spectacular living space to inject a little glamour into his portrait of our next Scottish vistor, Berthia Hamilton Don-Wauchope, the artist's 50-something neighbor from Edinburgh. The except below is from the  exhibition catalog for Botticelli to Braque: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland, available for purchase in the Museum Store.

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The Scottish Visitors: Lady Agnew of Lochnaw

John Singer Sargent 1856–1925, Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (1865–1932), 1892. Oil on canvas, 125.7 x 100.3 cm (49½ x 39½ in). Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh. Purchased with the aid of the Cowan Smith Bequest Fund, 1925 (NG1656).

The next in our weekly series of Scottish visitors is Lady Agnew, who sat for John Singer Sargent at the age of 27. Her pose is "notably langorous," possibly because she was recovering from a period of nervous exhaustion at the time. The except below is from the  exhibition catalog for Botticelli to Braque: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland, available for purchase in the Museum Store.

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The Scottish Visitors: Colonel Alastair Ranaldson Macdonell
Sir Henry Raeburn 1756–1823, Colonel Alastair Ranaldson Macdonell, 15th Chief of Glengarry (1771–1828), about 1812, Oil on canvas, 241.9 x 151.1 cm (95¼ x 59½ in), Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, Purchased 1917 (NG420).

Sir Henry Raeburn 1756–1823, Colonel Alastair Ranaldson Macdonell, 15th Chief of Glengarry (1771–1828), about 1812, Oil on canvas, 95¼ x 59½ inches, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, Purchased 1917 (NG420).

There’s a full cast of characters in Botticelli to Braque: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland—everyone from a Tahitian temptress painted by Paul Gauguin, to a rowdy Dutchman by Frans Hals. But there are also plenty of Scots, and once a week we'll highlight one of them by excerpting a section from the exhibition catalog, available for purchase in the Museum Store.

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The View from LA
Joseph Mallord William Turner Norham Castle, Sunrise, ca.1845 Oil on canvas 35 ¾ x 48 in. (90.8 x 121.9 cm) Tate London Image © Tate, London 2014

Joseph Mallord William Turner, Norham Castle, Sunrise, ca.1845. Oil on canvas, 35 ¾ x 48 in. (90.8 x 121.9 cm).
Tate London. Image © Tate, London 2014

From our pen pals at the Getty: What J. M. W. Turner might have loved about the City of Angels. J. M. W. Turner: Painting Set Free, currently at the Getty, heads to the de Young on June 20; stay tuned for why we think Turner should have left his heart in San Francisco.

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