About this artwork

This sketch shows the Scottish poet, Robert Burns (identified in the drawing by the pencilled initials ‘R.B.’), as a tiny figure under the entrance archway to Rosslyn Castle. To the left, on the sloping bank, stands another figure apparently sketching. This figure is initialled ‘A.N.’ and is undoubtedly the artist. This is a lively sketch, however there is some uncertainty surrounding the date it was made. The notation to the bottom left dates the work as the 13th June 1786, yet it is apparent that the inscription has been touched up. Also Burns’s letters show he was in fact on Mossgiel Farm on that day. The reasons behind this change are unknown but it was perhaps done by Nasmyth’s son, James.

see media

Alexander Nasmyth

Alexander Nasmyth