George Melvin Rennie
Loch Ken and Kenmure Castle
Size without frame: 20 x 30 in
Born in Macduff. Painter in oils, watercolour and pastel, also occasionally in charcoal and pencil. Worked mostly in landscapes, especially of Upper Deeside.
Studied part time at Gray’s School of Art under James Hector, and at the Aberdeen School of Art.
In 1924 he opened a studio in Braemar, remaining there until retiring to Edinburgh in 1948. A lover of hills & glens, which he explored on foot, he captured the atmospheric effects and the colours of the region perhaps more accurately than any other local artist, before or since. Among his commissioned work was a view of Birkhall House for Queen Mary and some large murals for a restaurant in Aberdeen. Apart from an occasional exhibit at the Aberdeen Artists’ Society annual show and at Paisley Art Institute, he exhibited little, preferring to sell his work direct to private buyers, including Queen Mary. He died in Edinburgh in 1953 leaving a second wife and eight children. A retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the McEwan Gallery in 1996.
Kenmure Castle is located south of New Galloway in the south west of Scotland. It was the seat of the Gordon family of Lochinvar, later the Viscounts of Kenmure. The castle dates in part from the Middle Ages, was rebuilt in the 17th century but was largely a ruin by the early 19th century. It was restored but fell once more into disrepair and in 1958 the roof was removed and it has been a ruin since that time.