The Sea Bird’s DomainPeter Graham, 1902

Peter Graham (1836-1921) was a talented Edinburgh-born and trained artist who excelled in creating picturesque, romantic scenes of Scotland for a Victorian audience hungry for such escapism. Perhaps due to the Queen’s residence at Balmoral, views of Highland cattle were particularly in vogue, and Peter Graham produced many such successful paintings modelled from his own herd of Highland cattle at his English home in Buckinghamshire. This view of a lonely and dramatic section of Scottish coastline, deliberately non-specific, invites viewers to imagine themselves anywhere they wish, alone, windswept, wild and free.


Reproduced by kind permission of Manchester Art Gallery

Wrap Up Your Painting

  • When looking at the background of the painting, what did you notice?
  • What three or four words did you use to describe the atmosphere of the painting?
  • When you imagined yourself into the painting what did your fingertips touch?
  • How did you feel about being in the painting?
  • Has your opinion of the painting altered in any way after doing this guided noticing exercise?
  • How do you feel now you’ve completed this activity? If you enjoyed it, why not add more Look at Paintings audio guides to your week? And don’t forget, you can take these guides with you to your local gallery and try them whilst standing in front of ‘real life’ art