This is “Old Willie – the village worthy” by James Guthrie, a painting in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. This incredible painting has an eerie effect when one views it in person. Willie seems to be actually sitting in the frame, waiting to speak his mind. It is so lifelike that you would swear he is as three-dimensional as he was in 1886, when he was being painted.
I stood in front of this piece for many minutes, soaking in the realism. I moved my head slightly from side to side to double-check the aspect, waiting for Willie to twitch an eyelid.
Of all the wonderful art I saw that day, including the Dali, the Rembrandt, the Mackintosh exhibit and so much else, this painting moved me the most. Who needed photography when Mr. Guthrie could paint such works?
© Jan McClintock of We Need More Shelves