“Gillespie and I” and The Glasgow Boys

Gillespie and IJane Harris will be talking about her novel `Gillespie and I’ at a sold-out Edinburgh Reads event on Thursday 12 September.  

For those who like their art history fictionalized `Gillespie and I’ provides a well researched and accurate representation of Glasgow’s artistic revolution during the late 1880s.

Although the main character Ned Gillespie is a feature of author Jane Harris’s imagination the setting of novel is firmly rooted in Glasgow’s art history, portraying a loosely affiliated group of young artists, later to become known as The Glasgow Boys, who sought to represent the world in new ways, experimenting with technique, painting outside, and portraying  the contemporary world around.

A number of real artists are mentioned in the book.  Take the Irish artist Sir John Lavery who trained in Glasgow and competes alongside our character Ned to win a commission to paint the portrait of Queen Victoria for the 1888 Glasgow International Exhibition.  Guess who wins? Other artists referred to in the novel include Joseph Crawhall, James Guthrie and WM MacGregor.

Here’s a selection of books on The Glasgow Boys and other subjects mentioned in the book including the Kelvingrove art collection and the Glasgow International Exhibition 1888, all available from the Fine Art Library.

Find more information on the Glasgow Boys from Oxford Art Online (use your library card number to access the site for free)


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