Robert Burns at an evening party of Lord Monboddo's, 1786
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Robert Burns at an evening party of Lord Monboddo's, 1786 Drawn about 1854
  • Scottish Art
This sepia drawing is an advanced sketch for a large oil painting of an evening party attended by Robert Burns in 1786. The illustrious party of learned Edinburgh men and women included individuals such as Dr John Moore, Professor Dugald Stewart and Professor Adam Ferguson. Their portraits are all based on previously existing paintings, drawings and miniatures. Burns takes centre stage and is seated opposite his host, Lord Monboddo, and next to the judge’s daughter, Eliza Burnett. Miss Burnett was a celebrated Edinburgh beauty and one of Robert Burns’s objects of affection. He wrote several poems to her and regularly visited the Monboddo house at St John Street. Sadly she died of tuberculosis aged only twenty-five and their relationship never matured.

Glossary Open

Miniature

A painting or drawing, usually a portrait, on a very small scale. These were popular prior to the invention of photographic portraits in the 19th century.

Sepia

An ink obtained from the cuttlefish. The word is also often used to describe any brownish wash, including brown-toned photographs.

Miniature, Sepia

Details

  • Acc. No. PG 1770
  • Medium Wash on paper
  • Size 38.10 x 54.30 cm
  • Credit Given by E. Hamilton Gordon 1947