James Nasmyth - Burns at Roslin

Contributed by Royal Scottish Academy

James Nasmyth - Burns at Roslin

James Nasmyth was a Scottish landscape painter and was also involved with the development of the steam engine.

In 1786 the poet, Robert Burns, and James Nasmyth's father Alexander, visited Roslin Castle, a few miles south of Edinburgh. As the artist James Nasmyth describes, "This picture was painted by me from a small pencil sketch by my father which he made on the spot when he and Robert Burns had walked out to Roslin Castle on the morning of the 13th June 1786 - my father Alexander Nasmyth much valued this small sketch as reminding him of a very delightful occasion."

Burns stands under the bridge that leads to the castle gate and Alexander can be seen on the shady bank, making his sketch. The painting is painstakingly executed, with very fine detail in the trees and on the brickwork of the castle walls. The significance of this work lies in its association with the Scottish Diaspora and the international draw back to Scotland provided by Burns and more recently the celebrity of Rosslyn Chapel.

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Roslin (Rosslyn) Castle


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