Eilean Donan Castle (Finalist Royal Arts Prize 2020)


This Painting has been selected for the Royal Arts Prize, 2020. It is one of the finalists. If Purchased before the winner is chosen, it will be delivered after the Exhibition has closed at the end of February.

The dark blue clouds stretch above the Castle on the left middle ground, as the sun sets over the hills in the distance on the right. Yellow light bathes the clouds on the right and lights the castle in yellow. The Old, Stone Bridge stretches from the castle of the left to the mid-right, woth the loch water puddled on the foreground left stretching under the arch of the bridge to the loch in the distance. Reflectios play upon the water. lighting up the rocks and pebbles in the foreground.

Eilean Donan is a stunningly picturesque, small, tidal island where three sea lochs meet, Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh, in the western Highlands of Scotland. The name Eilean Donan, or island of Donan, is most probably called after the 6th century Irish Saint, Bishop Donan who came to Scotland around 580 AD. There are several churches dedicated to Donan in the area and it is likely that he formed a small cell or community on the island during the late 7th century.

The first fortified castle was not built on the island until the early 13th century as a defensive measure, protecting the lands of Kintail against the Vikings who raided, settled and controlled much of the North of Scotland and the Western Isles between 800 and 1266. From the mid 13th century, this area was the quite seperate “Sea Kingdom” of the Lord of the Isles where the sea was the main highway and the power of feuding clan chiefs was counted by the number of men and galleys or “birlinns” at their disposal. Eilean Donan offered the perfect defensive position.

In 1719 the Castle was manned by Spannish soldiers during a Jacobite uprising. It was completely obliterated when three English ships bombarded it and, following the surrender, blew it to pieces with its own store of gunpowder.

Lieutenant Colonel Farquar Macrae, bought the Island and Castle ruins in 1911 and dedicated the next 20 years of his life to its reconstruction restoring it to its original design. The MacRae’s are hereditary constables, but ownership has passed to a Charitable Trust for its preservation.

Eilean Donan Castle (Finalist Royal Arts Prize 2020)
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