Henry Morley and His Stirling Landscape Paintings

Henry Morley was an influential Stirling artist. He was born in Nottingham in 1870 and trained in Paris before studying in Stirling with Joseph Denovan Adam the renowned painter of Highland Cattle. Henry Morley chose to live in the Stirling area and married the rectors daughter and artist Isobel Miller Hutchinson in 1901. Henry and Isobel Morley were leading lights in the arts & crafts movement, to the extent that they commissioned Crawford and Fraser to build the arts & crafts house, The Gables, St Ninians, into which they moved in 1910. It seems they were very much at the centre of Stirling society and entertained artist and designers at the heart of the Scottish arts and crafts movement such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The impact of the Henry and Isobel Morley in the area is still very evident even today with Morley Crescent in Stirling being named after them.

Henry Morley mostly painted recognisable Stirling rural landscapes, in which he often captured the work of agricultural labourers (See Figure 1 “The Horse Pond”). His work was well liked in the Stirling area and he sold many of his works locally via exhibitions at the Stirling Fine Arts Association held in The Smith Institute (now The Stirling Smith Art gallery & Museum). More recently (2005) the importance and popularity of his work was celebrated in a large Henry Morely dedicated exhibition in the same location.

The Horse Pond, Oil on Canvas, Henry Morley Circa 1934 1Figure 1 The Horse Pond, oil on canvas by Henry Morley. The painting depicts a Stirling rural scene agricultural workers watering horses at “The Horse Pond”. The painting is 14 inches (35.5cm) X 17 inches (43.18cm) and is presented in its original glazed frame. The reverse of the frame carries a label from the Stirling Fine Arts Association showing the title of the work (The Horse Pond), the artists name (Henry Morley), his address (The Gables, St Ninians, Stirling) and also the date of the exhibition (16th January 1935).











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