Faculty of Arts & Science
Pervaded By The Magic Art: History, Modernity, and Nationalism in the work of E.A. Hornel and George Henry
This thesis explores the artwork of Edward Atkinson Hornel and George Henry, two members of the innovative painting group known as the Glasgow Boys, and their role within the changing landscape of modern art in Scotland in the late-19th century. The Glasgow Boys rebelled against Romantic, Academic painting in Scotland; they experimented within Realism and Symbolism, and frequently employed the foreign techniques they were inspired by to paint Scottish subjects. This thesis will argue that within the collaborative painting The Druids Bringing in the Mistletoe, Hornel and Henry used the paradoxical approach of portraying an ancient Scottish history through foreign, avant-garde styles to create a new visual language of Scottish nationalism. By analyzing the artwork of Hornel and Henry within the frame of ethnosymbolism, this thesis argues that The Druids can be established as a tool of cultural nationalism that introduced an identifiable Scottish iconography to the landscape of avant-garde European art.