Earlier this year the Royal Academy in London held an exhibition of their work - the first major London show in forty years. It drew attention to their experiments in technique, particularly painting outside, rather than in a studio, and to their choice of subject matter, which tended to be urban and everyday.
In the book, narrator Harriet Baxter urges Gillespie to paint the crowds at the International Exhibition (1888), but Gillespie is doubtful, commenting that 'nobody wants to buy paintings of the city. They'd far rather hang haystacks and cottar's gardens on their walls.'
|John Lavery, Queen Victoria at the Glasgow International Exhibition 1888|
|EA, Walton, Joseph Crawhall|
|Joseph Crawhall, The Pigeon|
Gillespie himself recommends 'Guthrie and MacGregor'. The former's painting 'Hard At It' shows an artist at work on the shore at Cockburnspath in Berwickshire - the village where Gillespie yearns to live.
|WM MacGregor, Vegetable Stall 1884|
|James Guthrie, Hard At It, 1883|