A PAINTING by Helensburgh artist Erskine Beveridge, “After Sunset, The Gareloch”, has recently been acquired by the Anderson Trust — and provides another artist’s interpretation of a familiar view.
It is also a welcome addition to this growing collection of paintings inspired by this area, many by artists who at some time lived and worked here.
The new painting will be on view to the public in Helensburgh Library as part of a future exhibition of paintings from the Trust. This annual exhibition has become a regular feature in the Library which is appreciated by many local residents.
Mounting these exhibitions is one of the more evident tasks of the Trustees.
Others include research and a continuing commitment to the intentions of the donor, Miss Annie Templeton Anderson, in maintaining the paintings in good order and seeking to add to the collection with new works that have a specific Helensburgh connection.
The watercolour painting “After Sunset, The Gareloch” (top), was probably painted around 1912.
The fine art specialist, Neil McRea comments: “The simplicity of the composition together with the restricted colour range each recognise and reflect the poetic vision that was prevalent in the work of several members of the Glasgow School during this time.”
He also identifies “an awareness and appreciation for Pre-Raphaelite romanticism”. Certainly anyone viewing the Gareloch of an evening even today is unlikely to remain unaffected by the poetic mood it inspires.
It is interesting to compare the mood expressed in Erskine Beveridge’s painting with that of two other paintings in the Anderson Trust collection of the same view.
James Whitelaw Hamilton’s “Evening on the Gareloch” (middle), painted at the end of the 19th century, is similar in its simplicity, and its under-stated tones have greatly benefited from recent cleaning and restoration work.
The third painting, “Evening Gareloch” (lower) by the contemporary local artist, Claire Scullion, is a much stronger, though none the less subtle, interpretation of the same view, which introduces a slight tension between the natural landscape and the man-made forestry plantations on the hill.
Biographical details of Erskine Beveridge are scant but it is known that he exhibited with the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour in Edinburgh and that he moved from Glasgow to Helensburgh in 1912 from where a number of his coastal paintings, including “After Sunset, The Gareloch” were painted.
His dates, 1885-1972, suggest that someone still living in Helensburgh might remember him. If so, please contact the Anderson Trust by emailing the editor of the Heritage Trust website using the Contact Us facility on the home page.
The Trustees are always glad to receive more information about any of the artists and works in the Anderson Trust Collection.