Media: Oil on canvas
Size: 122 x 91 cm
Previously with The Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh.
The presence of John Knox with Mary, Queen of Scots in this important and powerful example of Bellany's later work is a reminder that the influences of his youth stayed with him throughout his life. Port Seton had a population of only a few thousand, but had more than a dozen churches, and the Bellany family attended church two or three times on Sundays. His childhood and early life were dominated by Calvinism and the terrors and fruits of the sea. That fierce Christianity of his youth condemned alcohol as well as sexual activity outside marriage, and he grew up amid a fear and anxiety of both the pleasures of the body and the threat of hellfire and damnation. He once wrote that John Knox dominated the thoughts of his formative years. ''From education to physical and emotional outlets - 'Sin Is Always In The Air' with Knox looking over your shoulder, a heightened awareness of human vulnerability and mortality,'' he wrote.