Robert Roland McIan (1803-1856), a descendant of the old M'Ians (or MacDonalds) of Glencoe, was a devoted Scot whose entire life reflected a deep love for the land of his birth. Originally an actor - as a member of the Bath and Bristol companies and on the London stage his spirited representations of Highland characters such as the Dougal creature from Scott's "Twa Drovers" won him notice and acclaim - he quit the stage in 1839 to concentrate exclusively upon art.
Having already exhibited in London's Suffolk Street Gallery and had a landscape accepted in 1836 by the Royal Academy, he entered upon his new-chosen career with characteristic energy and enthusiasm, taking as his subjects figures and scenes from Highland life and history. In one year (1843) he produced "The Battle of Culloden", "A Highland Feud" and "Highland Cearnach Defending a Pass", all of which were exhibited at the Royal Academy.
Few artists of his time were as prolific as McIan, whose work was especially popular in Scotland because of its distinctly national flavour. Most famous of all was his "Clans of the Scottish Highlands", a collection of some 72 sketches of costumes, arms and bearings which he completed in 1845.
To the modern, somewhat anglicised eye, much of this may appear rather twee. But we present this partial collection as it is still a segment of Scottish history.
Clan Crests - Page One
Clan Crests - Page Two
MacDonald of Glencoe
These images will print well on A4-sized photographic paper.
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