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The Dick Institute Collection

Kept In

19th Century

Erskine Nicol was born in Leith and began his training at the Trustees' Academy in 1838.  he was heavily influenced by one of the most prominant Scottish artist David Wilkie.  Like Wilkie he spent time in Ireland where he took a teaching post in 1845.


Nicol observed the life and interactions of ordinary folk with a humorous eye and made these things the subject of his paintings. In 1862 he moved to London but his Irish experiences continued to provide source material for his paintings and he made frequent return trips to Ireland. Eventually, Nicol settled again in Scotland and from then on most of the material for his paintings came from the life around him there.


The boy in this painting also appear in another of Nicol's paintings, titled 'An Irish Emigrant Landing at Liverpool' (National Galleries of Scotland). The two paintings were completed in the same year.

oil on canvas
650 x 505mm
The Dick Institute
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East Ayrshire Council