The Cover Image

George Henry and Edward Atkinson Hornel’s famous ‘The Druids: Bringing in the Mistletoe’ is one of the most striking – and best- loved – of all the paintings produced by ‘The Glasgow Boys’, the reknowned group of artists who revolutionised Scottish painting at the end of the 19th century. A key work in Scotland’s Celtic Revival, the painting caused a furore when it was first exhibited in London and Munich in 1890. The work impressed with its daring use of colour, the sheer force of its unusual and innovative composition and the high relief effect of its thickly applied paint. Its use of gold leaf anticipates Gustav Klimt by almost a decade. This beautiful painting, so full of texture and bold patterns, was radical not only in appearance but also in being the product of a seamless collaboration between two artists.

The scene of Druids harvesting mistletoe under a waxing moon draws on Pliny’s famous account and reflects Hornel’s antiquarian researches and interest in Scottish folklore. The artists went to great pains to ensure the archaeological accuracy with which they evoked this imagined scene from Scotland’s Celtic past. And yet there is more to this procession than meets the eye. The lack of perspective, the presence of halos and the sculptural quality of the figures gives them the appearance of medieval saints, and a close examination of their physiognomy reveals that these druids – who are young, old, male and female – are drawn from many races of the world. This aspect of the painting reflects Henry and Hornel’s encounter with native American and other non-European participants in the International Exhibition of Science, Art and Industry held in Kelvingrove Park (beside the University) in 1888, which was attended by over 5.7 million people. The exhibition aimed to raise funds to build a much-needed museum, art gallery and school of art in the city and it is fitting that the museum which was subsequently built with these funds – Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum – now houses Henry and Hornel’s masterwork.

See: Roger Billcliffe, Kenneth McConkey, and Mark O’Neill (2010) Pioneer Painters: The Glasgow Boys, Glasgow Museums, 68–71.

We are most grateful to Glasgow Life for allowing us to use this image for the Celtic Studies Congress, and encourage delegates to take a little time out to view the magnificent original. Kelvingrove Art Gallery is adjacent to the University, and open 7 days a week, 1000–1700 (except Fridays and Sundays 1100–1700), entry is free.

Dealbh a' Chòmhdaich

’S e an dealbh ainmeil ‘The Druids: Bringing in the Mistletoe’ le George Henry agus Edward Atkinson Hornel an dealbh as drùidhtiche – agus as miadhaile air a bheil daoine – dhe na dealbhan a chaidh a dhèanamh le ‘Balaich Ghlaschu’, a’ bhuidheann chliùiteach de luchd-ealain a thug cruth-atharrachadh air peantadh na h-Alba aig deireadh an 19mh linn. Dh’adhbhraich an dealbh, a tha air leth cudromach ann an Ath-bheothachadh Ceilteach na h-Alba, othail an uair a chaidh a thaisbeanadh an toiseach ann an Lunnainn agus ann am Munich ann an 1890. Choisinn an dealbh cliù leis an dòigh anns an deach dath a chleachdadh, an dòigh chumhachdach agus innleachdail anns an deach a dhèanamh, agus an dòigh anns a bheil talamh cas air a riochdachadh le bhith a’ cur iomadh còmhdach peant oirre. Tha cleachdadh nan duilleagan òra air a dhèanamh deich bliadhna mus do rinn Gustav Klimt e. Cha b’ ann ann an dreach a-mhàin a bha an dealbh àlainn seo radaigeach, ’s i cho ioma-fhillte agus le pàtrain làidir, ach cuideachd air sgàth ’s gun do dh’èirich i bho cho-obrachadh cho coileanta eadar dithis luchd-ealain.

Faic: Roger Billcliffe, Kenneth McConkey, agus Mark O’Neill (2010) Pioneer Painters: The Glasgow Boys, Glasgow Museums, 68–71.

Tha sinn air leth taingeil dha Glaschu Beò airson cead a thoirt an ìomhaigh seo a chleachdadh airson Còmhdhail Eadar-nàiseanta na Ceiltis. Mholadh sinn do luchd-frithealaidh na còmhdhail dol a choimhead air an dealbh eireachdail fhèin. Tha Ealain- lann Kelvingrove ri taobh an Oilthighe agus fosgailte 7 latha san t-seachdain, 1000–1700 (ach Dihaoine agus Latha na Sàbaid 1100 –1700. Saor an-asgaidh.