Brilliant Brushstrokes

Callanish Stones
Callanish Stones Callanish Stones

Fifteen hundred years or more this awesome, magic ring
The thirteen stone disciples guarding Hebridean Isles
Our shadows dance in moonlight, Hogmanay and Highland Fling
The sun bowed down and sets again, yet stays here for a while.

The ebb and flow of life is here, for when you wonder why
That planets were the focus once – a mystical suggestion?
The Chamber Tomb, a central stone to guide your compass by
With guards in rows of Lewis rock ignoring every question

For sure, there once were druids here, who prayed and often preyed
Devotion is a drug to drink and savour skye juice with
MacLeods for generations lived, and worshipped here and strayed
To pastures new, to conquer, and a new impression give.

Before them, all those Nicholsons, who came and made this home
And afterwards, Clan Mackenzie up to Stornoway gave chase,
And ever season, every year some changes froth and foam
Yet always and forever here, these Standing Stones in place.

An ordered life, and lives to rule, and rules to keep peace in
It stands to every reason that the crops and tides obey
So wordship and we know that every winter has its Kin
And answers come when stones are struck: a sun or moon cause-way.

The Callanish Standing Stones of Lewis, in the Hebrides, Scotland, as the sun sets and lights in the grey clouds with orange and yellow light.

According to one tradition, the Callanish Stones were petrified giants who would not convert to Christianity.  In>fir bhrèige ("false men").Another legend is that early on midsummer morning an entity known as the "Shining One" walks the length of the avenue, his coming heralded by the call of the cuckoo. 

 The Calanais Standing Stones are an extraordinary cross-shaped setting of stones erected 5,000 years ago. They predate England’s famous Stonehenge monument, and were an important place for ritual activity for at least 2,000 years.

We don’t know why the standing stones at Calanais were erected, but our best guess is that it was a kind of astronomical observatory.

Patrick Ashmore, who excavated at Calanais in the early 1980s writes: ‘The most attractive explanation… is that every 18.6 years, the moon skims especially low over the southern hills. It seems to dance along them, like a great god visiting the earth. Knowledge and prediction of this heavenly event gave earthly authority to those who watched the skies.’

In the absence of any sure knowledge, theories as to the meaning and purpose of such stone structures abound. Many adhere to the belief that they were used in rituals relating to the moon, stars and the position of the distant hills.


The main stone complex contains around 50 stones in a cross-shaped setting. The impressive inner circle comprising 13 stones, the tallest of which is 4m high, and a small chambered cairn.


All Limited Edition Prints are signed by Francis Salvesen - Printed as Gicleé Prints Printed with pigment based inks on high quality archival Hahnemühle Photo Rag

Callanish Stones
Dimensions :
115 cm x 89 cm (Incl. frame)
Date & Material :
Oil on Canvas

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The original of this painting has now been sold , but you can still buy a print.

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Callanish Stones is available to purchase as a limited edition print or a standard A2 or A3 print.

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