This is a photograph of a rocky beach on Iona. ‘Cathedral Rock’ was the name given by two Scottish painters -Cadell and Peploe – to the rock formation on the left. I had a problem finding this place – none of the local shopkeepers, people at the Abbey, beachcombers seemed to have heard of it or perhaps they had a different name for it.


This is how Peploe saw it and painted it.

” In Cathedral Rock, Iona,  Peploe combines his skill as a draughtsman with pure colour. Cathedral Rock rises on the left. He suggests the fall of strong light with whites and pale pinks, while the jutting forms are outlined with blue brushstrokes. The deep blue of the ocean can be seen in the distance and the changes in tone and gentle movement are suggested with orange shadows.”

And this is how Cadell saw it and painted it.

” Cadell first visited the island of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland, in 1912. Thereafter he returned frequently, often in the company of Peploe. Cadell felt the light was of the same quality as that in the south of France. Like Peploe, he found the tranquillity of the island a welcome break from his life in Edinburgh. His canvases of island scenes, painted in bold colours with block-like brushstrokes, were easy to sell when he returned to the city. ”

A magic place, Iona.


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