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Poet and writer Iain Crichton Smith once observed, 'with Sorley MacLean one is aware first of all of the passion'. It is this spirit that the Scottish realist painter, Alexander Moffat, captured in his portrait of the Gaelic poet and campaigner Sorley MacLean.
As well as being prominent in the revival of Gaelic literature and a staunch campaigner for the teaching of the Gaelic language in Scottish schools, MacLean was also a qualified English teacher. During his career he held posts in Tobermory, Hawick and Edinburgh, before being promoted to headmaster of Plockton High School, where he remained until his retirement in 1972.
Throughout his lifetime MacLean was honoured with many awards, including the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 1990.
oil on canvas
H 152 x W 91 cm
Scottish Arts Council Collection Bequest, 1997
1. 'Sorley MacLean, Moffat.1979' 2. Scottish Arts Council label cat 81/61 3 Pier Arts Centre Orkney. Third Eye Travelling Exhibition 20 June - 16 July 1981 4. City Art Centre Edinburgh, 'Scotland's Art' 1 July - 2 October 1999