Ian Hamilton Finlay is one of the major figures of 20th century Scottish art.

He is best known for Little Sparta, his garden in Lanarkshire. These two stone pieces have clear and explicit relationships to Little Sparta, his interest in classical mythology and his passion for the sea and ships. The first sculpture consists of two narrow slate drums. One is carved with the same wording on the Garden Temple at Little Sparta, while the other is engraved with hieroglyphs representing the attributes of the god of gardens, culture, music and war. The second is a stone slab carved with the suggestion of a fishing boat and contains the irony of such a fleet-looking vessel being represented in the weightiest of materials. These are the first three-dimensional pieces by the artist to enter the collection.


The artist's estate; Ingleby Gallery.

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