The Curlers

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The Curlers 1835


  • Scottish Art
Harvey conveyed the excitement, humour and enjoyment of one of Scotland's national sports. The curlers are playing outside on a frozen lake, the wintry landscape illuminated by the late afternoon sun, providing a seasonal backdrop for the theatrical composition. The players themselves reflect the whole spectrum of rural society. The painting proved to be immensely popular when it was exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1835 and Harvey made a number of copies to meet demand. An engraving of the picture was made in 1838 by William Howison and published by the influential art dealer, Alexander Hill.

Glossary Open


The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.


The printmaking technique in which an image is inscribed on a copper plate with a tool that cuts a groove in the surface. This groove holds the ink that creates the print when it is applied to paper. Also refers to the method of making an incision on a material such as glass.

Royal Scottish Academy

The Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) was formed in Edinburgh in 1826 by Scottish artists who felt alienated by what they perceived as the elitism of the Royal Institution and its management of contemporary art exhibitions. In 1835, the RSA secured exhibition rights in the Royal Institution building, which had been erected on The Mound by the Board of Manufactures in 1826. The RSA and the Board frequently argued over responsibilities for advanced art education. From 1859, the RSA shared the premises of the new National Gallery of Scotland under the Board’s custody. In 1910, after transferring most of its art collections to the Gallery, the RSA gained exclusive tenancy of the former Royal Institution building, where it continues to hold large-scale annual exhibitions.

Composition, Engraving, Royal Scottish Academy


  • Acc. No. NG 2641
  • Medium Oil on panel
  • Size 55.80 x 167.70 cm (framed: 73.00 x 188.50 x 5.70 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1995