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William Shiels, 1785–1857, British

Discussing a Catch of Salmon in a Scottish Fishing-Lodge

Former Title(s):

Interior of a Highland Fisherman's Cottage

ca. 1840
Oil on canvas
Support (PTG): 38 x 50 3/4 inches (96.5 x 128.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
basket | bonnet | conversation piece | cups | drinking glasses | fish | fisherman | fishing | fishing lodge | fishing rods | food | furniture | genre subject | gloves | men | necktie | pitcher | portrait | salmon | Scottish | sea | servant | spectacles | trousers | water | whip | windows | wine | woman
Associated Places:
Scotland | United Kingdom
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

This group of gentlemen has gathered in a rustic fishing lodge in the Scottish Highlands to discuss the day’s catch: a basket of gleaming, iridescent dead salmon. The river visible through the window reveals the source of their sport. At this time, rod fishing for salmon in Scotland’s rivers and lochs—renowned as one of the finest salmon fishing locations in the world—developed as a popular sporting activity. Displayed around them are the tools and trappings of their favored pastime: rods, reels, lines, and hooks. The artist’s delight in rendering the materials around them (fur, hair, silk, feathers, brass, wood, and leather) evokes the tactile, visceral dimension of fishing and the experience of physical connection to nature enjoyed in the pursuit of one’s catch.

Gallery label for Love, Life, Death, and Desire: An Installation of the Center's Collections (Yale Center for British Art, 202011-01 – 2021-02-28)

Love, Life, Death, and Desire: An Installation of the Center's Collections (Yale Center for British Art, 2020-10-01 - 2021-02-28) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

Graham Reynolds, Posing on Four Legs, TLS, the Times Literary Supplement, Issue No. 4072, April 17, 1981, p. 445, Film S748 (SML) Also Available OnLine in TLS Historical Archive (ORBIS) [ORBIS]

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