Baggage Waggons Approaching Carlisle 1849 by Samuel Bough.
This is one of Bough’s most important paintings. It marked a turning point in his career as an artist. He began exhibiting regularly at major Scottish and English exhibitions. The painting shows baggage waggons followed by weary troops and their families toiling along the road to Carlisle at Newtown. This road followed the canal from Port Carlisle, where steamers are likely to have brought the troops from Ireland. There is no historical significance to the troops’ presence in the painting however. Bough’s sister Anne modelled for the soldier’s wife with child. Carlisle canal is visible on the left and the Carlisle skyline can be seen in the distance. Bough’s great skill at handling weather effects can be seen in the showery sky. Bough also painted a smaller oil version of this subject titled ‘Convoy’ which is now in the Beaverbook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Interestingly, it shows the soldiers advancing towards the viewer.
Sam Bough is one of Carlisle’s most important 19th century artists. Despite settling in Edinburgh, Bough kept strong links with his native city. He became a leading Victorian landscape painter and gained a national reputation for his landscape and marine watercolours. He particularly liked to paint Scotland’s east coast, the western Isles and the Lake District. Bough was prolific and exhibited hundreds of works. His work was popular with the public and art collectors, making him wealthy. Bough is represented by eighty-eight works in the collection including oil paintings, watercolours, drawings and sketchbooks. We also have Bough’s palette, brushes, pipe, tankard, tobacco box and a terracotta figure of the artist by William Grant Stevenson.