£50k price tag on harbour scene

This image of fishing boats entering West Wemyss may fetch as much as �50,000 at auction.
This image of fishing boats entering West Wemyss may fetch as much as �50,000 at auction.

THIS stunning and evocative painting of the harbour at West Wemyss is expected to fetch a staggering £50,000 when it goes to auction shortly.

Painted by the Victorian artist Samuel Bough in 1854, the image shows the arrival of fishing boats at sunrise as they would have looked in the mid 19th century.

It is one of at least three paintings Bough exhibited of the harbour at West Wemyss.

He was particularly drawn to the Fife coast and images of Dysart, Anstruther, St Monans and St Andrews are among his most celebrated works.

It’s said that he loved the Fife fishermen with their superstitions and was known to assume the dialect – despite being born in Carlisle.

The painting will be sold by Bonhams in the Scottish sale in Edinburgh on August 20, and the company’s head of pictures, Chris Brickley said: “Sam Bough had a huge affection for the east of Fife and it shines through in this wonderfully atmospheric and extremely well executed painting.

“It is not surprising that his work has become increasingly sought after.”

The son of a shoemaker, Samuel Bough was born in Cumberland in 1822 but spent most of his working life in Scotland.

By his mid-50s Bough was living in a 22-room house in Jordan Bank, Edinburgh with his wife but in true Bohemian fashion he continued to pursue a bachelor existence and had a number of mistresses.

A drinking friend of Robert Louis Stevenson, he painted the house at Swanston where the writer spent several summers in the 1870s.