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William Mouncey
(Scottish, 1852-1901)
Kirkcudbright School

The Dark Rolling Dee
circa 1899

Exhibited at The Royal Glasgow Institute of Art (1899) no.451
Exhibited at The Carnegie Institute of Art (1899) no.162
Exhibited at The Whitechapel Gallery Exhibition (1912) no.16



Oil on canvas

30 in x 50 in - 81.3cm x 134 cm

signed 'W. Mouncey' lower left

titled and numbered on reverse of stretcher

Exhibition History:


Exhibited at The Royal Glasgow Institute of Art (1899) no.451

Exhibited at The Carnegie Institute of Art (1899) no.162

Exhibited at The Whitechapel Gallery Exhibition (1912) no.16




with Messrs James Connell & Sons (Glasgow)

Private Collection, Toronto, Canada

Companion work:


Fascinatingly, Mouncey's greatest friend and artistic companion, William Stewart MacGeorge (1861-1931) painted a companion work to the present image of Mouncey's The Dark Rolling Dee. This companion work, titled Autumn Leaves, was likely painted by MacGeorge at the same time as Mouncey's work; in all probability they stood side-by-side on the banks of The Dee together, sketching these two scenes and then painted them together in their shared studio in Kirkcudbright. Mouncey exhibited The Dark Rolling Dee at the RSA in 1899, while MacGeorge exhibited his Autumn Leaves at the RSA in 1900. MacGeorge's Autumn Leaves in now in the collection of the Art Gallery of Aberdeen (see final image above).



Harper, M. Mcl. The Gallovidian, vol.VI, no.23 (1904) p.307.



William Mouncey, who was born and died near the River Dee at Kirkcudbright, was one of the founding members of the Scottish impressionist 'Kirkcudbright School' also known as the 'Kirkcudbright Artists' colony' along with his brother-in-law E. A. Hornel and his friend William Stewart MacGeorge. He exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy, the Royal Glasgow Institute of Arts, the Aberdeen Artists' Society, the Carnegie Institute of Art, the Whitechapel Gallery Exhibitions (London) and was widely exhibited by his patron Messrs James Connell & Sons Gallery (Glasgow). The present work, titled 'The Dark Rolling Dee', was one of Mouncey's largest and most exhibited works.


Sir James Lewis Caw applauds Mouncey's unique style and prominent position in the Glasgow school, achieved "using a fat, loaded impasto, built up in separate touches rather than laid down broadly and boldly with a full, sweeping brush, the ensemble of his pictures owed...nearly everything to harmony of tone, which was full and strong, and to design into which light and shade entered more largely than was the case in most work associated with the 'Kirkcudbright School'.

Percy Bates commends Mouncey "as the limner of Scottish landscapes ...; there his genius was nurtured and inspired, and there his heart lies...[painting the] mystery of woods, the brooding spirit of trees, the dash and murmur of brooks. The handling that he adopted was rich and free - the rich impasto of brushwork, the use of the palette knife to place pigment on canvas, even a squirt of pure colour from the tube....his massive use of paint [was] effective and legitimate on large canvases. The keynotes of Mouncey's colour were mellowness, sobriety and harmony - a palette in which golden and tawny hues were predominant. In inspiration, as in brushwork, he was an impressionist. He went to nature for his first suggestion, and sketched boldly and freely....his pictures were the expression of a remembered emotion...sublimations of the actual, crystallisations of a painter's dream, founded upon his intimate knowledge of the country he painted and his abounding love of it."


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