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Old Willie: The Village Worthy

Photo credit: Glasgow Museums

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Some artists flatter their sitters when they paint their portraits, but here Guthrie has given us a very honest and realistic picture of old Willie. He does not shy away from depicting the lines on his weather-beaten face or his ordinary clothes. Willie is not put in a fancy setting, but set simply against a whitewashed wall. All the compositional elements of this picture, such as the clear light and clean colours, reflect the straightforward attitude and quiet dignity of the sitter's personality.

Several of the artists known as the Glasgow Boys painted in Kirkcudbright in the late 1880s. It became an artists' colony where they gathered together to paint the surrounding scenery and local people going about their everyday chores.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum




oil on canvas


H 60.8 x W 50.8 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased with the assistance of the National Fund for Acquisitions, 1974

Work type


Inscription description



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Normally on display at

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8AG Scotland

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