About this artwork

Isabella Burns Begg was the youngest sister of the poet Robert Burns. After the death of their father, she was brought up by her brother. Her many anecdotes of the poet included memories of him asking her to sing his songs so that he could hear how they sounded. She was painted by several artists and photographed by Robert Adamson and David Octavius Hill. Isabella was thought to bear a strong resemblance to Burns, and as such was regarded as the gatekeeper to his memory. In her later years, she lived in Alloway, where she received visitors from all over the world who wanted to hear tales of her brother.

  • title:
    Isabella Burns, Mrs John Begg, 1771 - 1858. Youngest sister of Robert Burns
  • accession number:
    PG 1350
  • artist:
    William BonnarScottish (1800 - 1853)
  • depicted:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Oil on millboard
  • date created:
    1843
  • measurements:
    25.90 x 20.70 cm (framed: 46.80 x 41.90 x 6.00 cm)
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1937

William Bonnar

William Bonnar