Object Image

The Dutchman's Cap from Iona

This bright oil sketch was made by Cadell during a stay on the island of Iona in the Inner Hebrides. It presents a colourful view of the island's coastline within the distance the Dutchman's cap, one of the Treshnish isles off Scotland's West Coast about 10 miles north of Iona.

Cadell had fallen in love with Iona in 1912 and returned there almost every year for the rest of his life to paint in the open air. The play of light on the water and the colours of the rocks fascinated Cadell. In 1913 he even composed a poem entitled 'One Sunday at Iona' which expresses his deep love of the island. Cadell writes:

Warmed by the sun, blown by the wind I sat

Upon the hill top looking at the Sound

No chairs for me when I can lie

And air myself upon the heather

And watch the fat bees buzzing by

And smell the smell of summer weather

In 1918 Cadell had been appointed a second lieutenant in the 11th Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. His war duties and a period of recuperation from an injury made it impossible to visit Iona and in letters to his sister, Cadell writes how much he misses the island.

In 1919, around the time this painting was made, Cadell finally returned and painted some of his first pictures in over two years. The painting's exuberant green, blue, pink and purple tones and loose touch seem to convey Cadell's pure enjoyment of being back on his favourite island. Glasgow Museums has several paintings of figures in interiors by Cadell, which makes this landscape an important addition to the collection.

Credit: Purchased with assistance from Glasgow Art Gallery and Museums Association, 1987

c. 1919
Oil on panel
371.0 x 447.0mm
Images and text: CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection, 2024