Object Image

'La Gloria': A Spanish Wake

Phillip considered La Gloria to be his masterpiece. Its large scale, moving subject, dramatic lighting and composition, and vibrant colour, all contribute its impact. The body of the dead child, illuminated by candlelight, is seen through the door-way at the left, where the grieving mother sits in deep shadow. Friends try to console her, while the passing of the child's soul directly to heaven is celebrated in the brilliant sunshine. At the time of its purchase in 1897, this was the most expensive painting the National Galleries of Scotland had ever bought.

Credit: Purchased with a contribution from John Ritchie Findlay 1897

1864
Oil on canvas
145.4 x 219.2cm
NG 836
Image and text © National Galleries of Scotland, 2024