The painter Rory McEwen, who died on 16 October, was born, the fourth of seven children, on 12 March 1932. The family was Catholic, and his father a Conservative politician. His childhood was spent at the beautiful house of Marchmont, set in the storied countryside of the Merse in Berwickshire. The landscape is apparent if we go, as Rory did, to the work of another local talent, Alexander Hume, who flourished four hundred years earlier. In his poem, ‘Of the Day Estivall’, the natural world is seen in a state of trance:
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