The Glasgow Boys and the Borders

Montmartre, near the Sacre Coeur, an area the Glasgow Boys and Alexander Reid would have known well. It is still a haunt of artists and now of tourists too.

For many years I had a deep fascination with The Glasgow Boys and the man who acted as their dealer, Alexander Reid. Reid was the dealer who, before opening his own gallery in Glasgow, worked alongside Theo van Gogh in a Montmatrtre gallery and for a while lived with Theo and his brother Vincent before moving to a small hotel nearby.

54 rue Lepic in Montmartre, Paris where Alexander Reid lodged with the van Gogh brother.
The hotel in the Square d’Anvers where Alexander Reid based himself on his numerous trips to Paris. A number of years ago husband and I followed in his footsteps as the hotel still exists.
View of the Square d’Anvers from our hotel window.

This is a film produced by the National Galeries of Scotland on The Glasgow Boys. To my mind it could have been much more interesting but guess it was easier (and cheaper) to focus on Hornel whose work could be rather sickly rather than some of the more innovative members.

Nevertheless the film is interesting because of the focus on the South of Scotland – Kirkcudbright where Broughton House, where Hornel lived, is a well-known visitor attraction, and Cockburnspath where I discovered even local residents knew little of its association with The Glasgow Boys. They painted in the surrounding area and I seem to remember in Eyemouth too.

Broughton House, home of the Hornel family, in Kirkcudbright.

Sir William Burrell, who bought many of his paintings though Alexander Reid, lived for many years at Hutton Castle in Berwickshire where Reid’s son, also a dealer, often visited him. Between 1958 and 1972 Reid’s son, McNeill (his godfather was the controversial American artist James McNeill Whistler whom he was named after) lived at Gattonside, near Melrose where the now famous portrait of his father painted by van Gogh hung above the fireplace.

Vincent van Gogh’s portrait of Alexander Reid, for many years believed a self portrait by the artist.

So many artistic links with the area, and yet no indication of any of them.

This is the short film.

You may also like...

Follow by Email