• The Kelpie - Sir William Reid Dick, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Kelpie - Sir William Reid Dick, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Kelpie - Sir William Reid Dick, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Kelpie - Sir William Reid Dick, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Kelpie - Sir William Reid Dick, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Kelpie - Sir William Reid Dick, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Kelpie - Sir William Reid Dick, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Kelpie - Sir William Reid Dick, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Kelpie - Sir William Reid Dick, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • The Kelpie - Sir William Reid Dick, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
Click image to enlarge

The Kelpie

Sir William Reid Dick

(English, 1879-1961)

Signed .Reid Dick
Dated 1920
Bronze with brown and green patination
Height: 10'' (25.4 cm)

Conceived circa 1909 and cast circa 1920


In Scottish folklore a kelpie is a nymph who seduced and drowned travellers as they crossed rivers, sharing a connection to the sirens in Greek mythology. Kelpies often took the form of horses, although in Reid Dick’s version here, we see a beautiful woman, ready to lure her victims into the depths of the pond by which she is lying.

Numerous Scottish artists of the period focused specifically on the depictions of subjects from their folk national tradition, following a tendency that was found throughout Europe at the start of the new century. Paintings of nude Kelpies as femme fatales exist in the works of Scottish artists Thomas Millie Dow (1848-1919) and James Draper (1863-1920), who were in turn inspired by one of the greatest Scottish authors of all times, Robert Burns:

‘When thowes dissolve the snawy hoord

An' float the jinglin icy boord

Then, water-kelpies haunt the foord

By your direction

An' nighted trav'llers are allur'd

To their destruction’

Robert Burns, Address to the Devil, 1786

Works by Sir William Reid Dick

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