This painting, called The Village Ba’ Game, is of international importance. It’s one of the earliest paintings of a football match in the world. The boisterous game you see here is between the 'Uppies' and the 'Doonies'. The match was held in Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders in 1817, and involved over 50 villagers. This was an annual match, which started in the 16th century. It’s said that originally, the ball was an Englishman’s head…though this story may be exaggerated. The artist presents us with 50 characters, some of whom are clearly the worse for drink. Alexander Carse is well known for his ‘genre’ paintings depicting scenes from Scottish social life. His pictures combine an honest realism with charm and wit. Football scenes like this were obviously popular, since Carse painted the subject at least three times – each depicting a different area of Scotland. Mass football games were played over much of Scotland during the nineteenth century. Even today, the game survives in Orkney, where a mass game is played on New Year’s Day by the Uppies and the Doonies.

Press play to start the audio from the beginning

The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum

The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum is situated in the centre of Dundee. The Museum and Art Gallery originally known as the Albert Institute was opened in 1867 as a memorial to Prince Albert. In 2005 The McManus closed for a major refurbishment, reopening again on the 28th February 2010. We celebrated our 150th Anniversay in 2017 with a year of celebration. In 2020 we were awarded Visitor Attraction of the Year by Visit Scotland. The McManus has 8 galleries, which are laid out on 2 floors. Visitors can embark on a journey through 400 million years, and witness how a small settlement developed into the City of Dundee as it is today. From exhibits relating to the life of early man in the area, stunning paintings and decorative art through to artefacts from industries past and present, the City's collections, many of which are recognised as being of national significance, give an insight into Dundee and its people.


  • The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum
  • Dundee United Kingdom
  • www.mcmanus.co.uk