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Burns

Robert Burns

John Syme

Period:
19th Century
Description:

A stippled steel plate engraving from an earlier portrait of Robert Burns' friend and admirer.

 

John Syme was a Dumfries lawyer and held the position of District Collector of Stamps. His office was in Bank Street, below Robert Burn's first home in the town. In July 1793 Burns and Syme embarked on a tour of Galloway, staying at Kenmure Castle, which inspired Burns to write "Scots Wha Hae".

 

Following Burns' death in 1796, Syme was unstinting in his support of Burns' widow, Jean Armour Burns and his young family. He was also instrumental in the movement to erect a memorial to the poet in St Michael's churchyard.

 

This portrait of John Syme 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: 120 mm, length: 140 mm
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:0199.72 [Land of Burns, Volume II]
Digital Number:
DMBN191n
Creation Date:
1846
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council