Waller Hugh Paton, younger brother of Sir Noel Paton, was a prolific and successful landscape artist in both oil and watercolour. As a youth he assisted his father in damask design. In 1848 he took watercolour lessons from John Houston, R.S.A., and began painting in earnest. He exhibited annually at the Royal Scottish Academy 1851-95, and at the Royal Academy 1860-80. In 1862 he was commissioned by Queen Victoria to make a drawing of Holyrood Palace.
On a visit to London in 1860, Paton is reported to have studied Turner's work avidly. He compares to Turner at his most Claudean - in that whilst he is attentive to atmospheric effects, his work has a classical stillness, which is heightened by a high degree of finish.
The present picture also evokes the work of the German artist Caspar David Friedrich, many of whose paintings are similarly composed.
Kincraig Point is one of the many volcanic plugs which abound on the north side of the Firth of Forth, near Elie and Earlsferry. One of the caves beneath it is said to have sheltered Macduff from the wrath of Macbeth.