The Big Push

'The Eve of the Battle of the Somme' by Herbert James Gunn.
‘The Eve of the Battle of the Somme’ by Sir Herbert James Gunn. The Fleming Collection

The Poetry Society worked with the Fleming Collection to commission a poem inspired by their painting ‘The Eve of the Battle of the Somme’ by Sir Herbert James Gunn and mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.

The painting is a poignant and deeply moving picture of young soldiers at rest and play before a battle that would claim the lives of thousands of men. Gunn was a Scottish painter, and as the gallery holds a Scottish collection, Scottish poet John Glenday was the perfect choice to write the piece.

To commemorate the beginning of the Battle of the Somme itself, on 1 July 1916, The Poetry Society commissioned Mosaic Films to make an animated filmpoem to accompany the poem. You can watch the film on our website, or over on Vimeo

About The Fleming Collection

The Fleming Collection, widely regarded as the finest collection of Scottish art in private hands, is the only dedicated gallery granting public access to Scottish art all year round. The collection comprises over 750 oils and watercolours from 1770 to the present day including works by Raeburn, Ramsay, Wilkie and two iconic paintings of the Highland Clearances: ‘The Last of the Clan’ by Thomas Faed and ‘Lochaber No More’ by John Watson Nicol. Particularly noted for its major paintings by the Scottish Colourists, the collection also holds paintings by the Glasgow Boys as well as seminal works by Anne Redpath and her contemporaries.

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