Adept at depicting atmosphere, the artist became particularly renowned for his dramatic views of the Scottish highlands such as Wandering Shadows (Edinburgh, National Galleries of Scotland, 1878) and Rising Mists (c.1885?), bought for the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1888. Melbourne’s Glencoe canvas is a characteristic example. All three pre-Felton works were acquired in the year of their production.
Ann Galbally, discussing the growth of the collection in the pre-Felton era in her 1987 book on the NGV, laments lost opportunities to purchase good works by Constable and Turner during the 1870s and 80s, singling out NGV advisor Alfred Thomson as particularly culpable in this regard. She comments that Thomson’s “crushingly middlebrow taste” led him to recommend instead “works by the forgettable Scots landscapist, Peter Graham.”
For the artist, see Bénézit 6, pp.551-52 and AKL 60 (2008), p.152; and for other works by Graham, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/wandering-shadows-210125 and http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/800/ (with reproductions). See also Galbally NGV (1987), pp.19 and 22, noting that Lady Eastlake, who agreed to advise on purchases after the death of her husband late in 1865, attempted unsuccessfully to persuade Thomson to purchase a work by Constable