‘Battle of Largs’ Memorial Commission

Thank you  to David Agnew of Ayrshire for sharing the following insight into William Hole’s work:

“I have attached a sketch by William Hole from 1910 which has been in my family’s possession since that time. My great-grandfather, John Stewart of Largs, Ayrshire was the initiator of a campaign to erect a ‘Battle of Largs’ memorial. Having seen some of Holes’s work in Edinburgh, he commissioned  Hole to sketch Alexander III looking out onto the Firth of Clyde and here it is. It was to be cast in bronze and as such, proved to be too expensive a project; thus a round tower known as ‘The Pencil’ was built in 1912.”

The sketch is entitled: Sketch Design for a Statue of K. Alexander III to be erected on the Site of the Battle of Largs. It is dated April 1910.


Nativity Scene Goes For A Song

A 96-year-old watercolour by William Hole depicting a nativity scene, recently sold on eBay for just £43.  The auction finished on 17th November and attracted 21 bids. The watercolour, an original by the artist, was signed and dated Xmas 1916.  It was completed less than twelve months before the artist passed away in 1917.

Click on the picture to view the auction details now.


Scottish History Captured in Hole Paintings

Around the beginning of the twentieth century, William Hole was commissioned to create a number of paintings depicting key events in Scottish history. Today, these are displayed within the ‘European Room’ at the Edinburgh City Chambers. They are worth a visit if you are in Edinburgh:

Year      Short Name

——       Prince Charles Edward in Edinburgh 1745

1903      Signing the National Covenant 1638

——       News of the Accession of James VI, 1603

1910      Queen Mary enters Edinburgh in 1567

1904      State Entry of Queen Mary in 1561

1910      Queen Mary’s farewell to Scotland in 1548

——       News of Flodden in 1513

1902      Coronation of James II in 1437

1906      Presentation of a Charter to King Robert the Bruce in 1329

The paintings can be viewed by following the link – HERE.

Thank you to Peder Aspen from OSP Archives for help with this information.


Army Straggler Left Behind At Auction Sale

An original oil painting by William Hole went under the hammer (8th September, 2011) but failed to sell. Described as: “Straggler from Chevalier’s Army, is signed and dated 1888. Guide price: £4k-£6k.”

Our own research has identified a similar painting, A Straggler of the Chevalier’s Army, was in fact exhibited by Hole at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1880.  It was described by Wilfrid Meynell (1897) as: ‘”A Straggler from the Chevalier’s Army,” is a singularly vivid incident of the past – a passage of life which the artist would almost seem to have witnessed, so much familiarity and activity is there in his conception of the accidents of the scene. A wounded Highlander is attacked by the tagrag of an English village, and turns at bay. Here, too, the quality of movement is remarkable.’

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