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Burns

Robert Burns

Edinburgh Castle from the Gray Friars Churchyard

Period:
19th Century
Description:

A steel plate engraving from a painting by D O Hill RSA.

 

Burns spent some time in Edinburgh in 1787 where he was acclaimed as a poet following the success of the first edition of his work, published in Kilmarnock. The 3,000 copies of his first Edinburgh edition sold rapidly and he was popular in Edinburgh Society. The size and bustle of Edinburgh delighted Burns who had never left his native Ayrshire until then.

 

In the foreground of this view of the old town the artist has depicted a group paying their respects at the tomb of the Martyrs in Greyfriars Churchyard. Many individuals who suffered persecution for their religious beliefs in the 17th century are buried here and Burns was known to be sympathetic to their cause.

 

This view of Edinburgh was published in "The Land of Burns - A series of Landscapes and Portraits, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of the Scottish Poet". This was published in 1846 by Blackie and Son of Glasgow. At this time the development of steel plate engraving made it possible for images to be reproduced in much greater numbers than previous printing technology had allowed. Books such as this one, illustrated by engravings of works by eminent artists, became popular, although they were still  expensive and beyond the pocket of most people.

Materials/Media:
paper
Dimensions:
width: 140 mm, length: 92 mm
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:0199.72 [Land of Burns, Volume II]
Digital Number:
DMBN188n
Creation Date:
1846
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council