Status of Original Painting – For Sale
All prices are in Canadian dollars
Size: 13 x 20 inches
Medium: Watercolour on 300 lb Arches
Continuing on my virtual world tour during the COVID-19 pandemic, these are plundered remains of Urquhart, one of the largest castles in Scotland. It sits majestically atop a rugged peninsula, a headland that overlooks the famous Loch Ness in the background. Many of the supposed sightings of the Loch Ness monster have been reported from around this area.
The castle was likely built in the early 13th century and was variously occupied by Kings of both England and Scotland. The MacDonald and Grant clans, and the Crown, fought over possession of it between the 14th and 17th centuries. You might imagine that the Loch Ness monster laid waste to it, but no. In 1692 it was deliberately and partially destroyed – the term is “slighting” – in order to prevent it from being occupied by Jacobites. It fell into disuse and was plundered by local residents, who pulled materials out of its walls to build their homes. By the 20th century it was opened for tourism, and it’s now one of the most frequently visited castles in Scotland.
This view is from a tour bus stop at the side of a road, looking down at the castle and Loch Ness from on high. Grant Tower is the tallest remaining structure on the far left and stands five storeys high. There’s a ditch and a drawbridge that you can’t see it in this view due to the surrounding greenery – the pyramidal half-wall jutting up, in the lower centre of the painting, is just to the right of the drawbridge.
I later took a boat tour and came across Grant Tower towering over Loch Ness and surrounded by vibrant greenery. It was difficult to choose between that view and this one, but in this one you can see most of the castle’s remains. I might still paint that Loch-level view someday.
I’ve a fondness for castles, as you can see from seven paintings in the gallery devoted to it on this website (I think I’ve done more than that). I’ve been to Scotland several times, including being in Edinburgh during the stressful time of 9/11. In fact my painting of Kilchurn Castle is based on a photo I took the day after that world-changing event. Having a Glaswegian mother-in-law from clan MacDonald (with a lovely thick brogue to boot) was one reason for these trips, and conferences were another. Plus on my mother’s side of the family there is some Scottish blood among the predominant Irish and English. My dad’s side is pure Hungarian.
This reference photo was taken in 2009.