NHS Lothian provides a comprehensive range of primary, community-based and acute hospital services for the second largest residential population in Scotland.

We believe creativity, arts and design should be woven into all our work as there is good evidence that these have a positive effect on wellbeing and health.

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Crail Harbour

by

Gordon Campbell

CrailHarbour
Crail Harbour by Gordon Campbell
Oil on Board
1978
68 x 98 cm

Reg. Number: NHSL01423

In the NHS Lothian collection.


Print Label Print Label

In this painting of Crail Harbour, the artist Gordon Campbell has created an image of balance, tranquility and light. The curve of the wall and road leading upwards elegantly divides the village and the harbour, and creates a sense of depth.

Above the wall the houses, with their bright red and browny-black tiled roofs cluster together at the bottom of the cliffs some leading the eye away back to the village, others facing out towards the sea; below the wall the calm of the harbour, with its neatly tied wooden fishing boats and bright blue and white speed boat. But the separation between and land and sea is not total, in the becalmed water the bright blue of the turquoise sky and the white and brown of the houses re-appears, in a glassy mirror image.

In this painting Campbell has used a combination of fine brush strokes to bring out details such as the wooden hulls of the fishing boats, the brick work of the harbour wall and the neat lines of windows and roof tiles, while capturing the intensity of the blue and white sky using broad sweeping strokes.

The fishing village of Crail in Fife was described in the 15th Century by James II of Scotland as "a fringe of gold on a beggar's mantle". Although the painting suggests a picturesque fishing village, initially it was a thriving harbour with an international trade.

The red pantiled roofs, for example, which provide such a contrast to the blues of the sky and the sea, were first introduced from the low countries in the 17th Century. And while the painting suggests calm and tranquility, the curved breakwater of the harbour was built to protect the boats against the waters of the Firth of Forth and two white towers erected on the walls to help the boats steer through the treacherous rocks at the harbour mouth.

Gordon Campbell was born in Dunfermline and studied at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) where he was awarded a Postgraduate scholarship and Travelling Scholarship to Milan, where he also exhibited. In his time at the ECA the staff included the influential painters Gilles, MacTaggart, Peploe and Phillipson. He was also a contemporary of Elizabeth Blackadder and John Houston.
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Since 1991 our charity has been assembling one of the largest and most prestigious Collections of original Scottish art in the country. These artworks are uniquely available for display in hospitals and other healthcare settings.


Art in Healthcare is truly committed to the important role that art plays in the healing environment but we need your help to properly maintain and build this unique Collection for the enjoyment and benefit of the hundreds of thousands of staff, patients and visitors who view it each year.


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You can adopt an artwork in the gallery, if it hasn't already been adopted, by clicking the 'Adopt Me' button below the picture of the artwork.


NHS Lothian provides a comprehensive range of primary, community-based and acute hospital services for the second largest residential population in Scotland.

We believe creativity, arts and design should be woven into all our work as there is good evidence that these have a positive effect on wellbeing and health.

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