Collection Online
The heart of the Coolins, Isle of Skye

The heart of the Coolins, Isle of Skye

oil on canvas
112.8 × 184.0 cm
inscribed in brown paint l.l.: Keeley Halswelle / SKYE / 1886
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1888
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
19th Century European Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International

Exhibited Royal Academy, London, 1886, no. 258; exhibited Manchester Exhibition, 1886; exhibited Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 1887, no. 15; exhibited Grosvenor Gallery Intercolonial exhibition, Melbourne, 1887–88, no. 59; from where purchased, on the advice of G. F. Folingsby, for the NGV, 1888.

Exhibited Royal Academy, London, 1886, no. 258; Manchester Exhibition, 1886, no. 269; Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 1887, no. 15; Grosvenor Gallery Intercolonial exhibition, Melbourne, 1887–88, no. 59.

Keeley Halswelle began his career making drawings for the Illustrated London News and continued with book illustration. His early paintings depicted scenes of fishing life at Newhaven. In the late 1860s he made the first of many visits to Rome and exhibited Italian subjects for many years. During the 1880s he largely abandoned figure subjects and concentrated on Highland landscapes and views of the Thames, painted from a houseboat.


Original, by W. A. Smith, London

This frame is in remarkably good condition and is a companion to the frame on Halswelle’s Welcome shade 1884 (p.312.4-1), purchased in 1887, which can safely be attributed to W.A. Smith. These frames are very likely the source for the frame made by Isaac Whitehead junior for James Pyne’s Pandy Mills, Wales (143-2). Two variations of this frame are found on Peter Graham’s An Easterly breeze, 1887 (p.312.2-1), acquired 1887 and After the Massacre of Glencoe, 1889 (p.315.1-1), acquired 1889.  See also the frame on William Hatherell's The bailiff's daughter of Islington (4308-3).

W. A. Smith
20 & 22 Mortimer Street, Regent Street, London W.

The frame is assembled from two timber profiles, held together with screws, both carrying composition ornament. The leading edge has a torus of imbricated laurel and berry formed around a wooden dowel. Both sections are joined with uncovered mitres at the corners which are re-enforced on the reverse with wooden blocks glued in place. The shallow cavettos either side of the torus are burnished as is the small scotia beside the run of leaf and dart ornament. The frame is gilded throughout, including the working edge. The composition sections are oil gilded. The rest of the frame is water gilded on a dark red bole, apart from the burnished sections which appear to have an extra layer of thin black bole.


The frame is in good original condition, with only minor losses to the ornament. A plaque has been removed at sometime and a section of burnished gilding, brighter than the areas which had not been covered, has been revealed.

153.0 x 223.5 x 15.5 cm; sight 111.0 x 182.5 cm
More Information
National Portrait Gallery