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On the Moors

Oil painting by Richard Ansdell RA

On the Moors oil painting featuring two gun dogs, one with a game bird in its mouth

On the Moors by Richard Ansdell RA
Image by Ewen Weatherspoon, copyright Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

About the Artist

On the Moors was painted by Richard Ansdell RA in 1865.  Ansdell lived in London and Lancashire most of his life but spent many summers in the Highlands.  He would accompany shooting parties and paint the animals and landscapes.  He even built his own lodge at Loch Laggan.

Paintings by Ansdell can be found in many prestigious museums and galleries in England, but we are very proud that Inverness Museum is the first Scottish institution to acquire his work.  The work is signed in the bottom right with a monogram and the date.  This type of signature indicates it may have been a preliminary work for a larger painting.

The painting features a gundog with a ptarmigan in its mouth, with another dog in the background.  The ptarmigan is a member of the grouse family.  It is notable for changing its plumage in winter from black to white, and is mainly found in the Cairngorms.

About the Owner

The painting belonged to John Lindsay Boyd who, along with his wife Molly, moved to Inverness in the 1960s and made it their home.  Mr Boyd had been given the painting for his 12th birthday from a family friend, but his mother did not approve of the subject matter so it lived for many years behind a chest of drawers!

Purchasing new items for the collections can sometimes take a long time as our collections team have to obtain valuations, negotiate the price and raise funds by applying for grants.  Sadly, during the acquisitions process, Mr Boyd died aged 92, so the museum is very grateful to his family for their support in completing the sale in honour of the memory of both Mr and Mrs Boyd.

We are also grateful to the Art Fund and the National Fund for Acquisitions for grant funding this purchase. 

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