About this artwork

This beautiful watercolour of a Highland dance is full of joy and vitality. Allan was especially attracted to the image of dancing figures, and throughout his career he produced many drawings of peasants dancing. The graceful pose of the female figure to the right of the central group suggests that Allan was influenced by the classical figures that he encountered during the ten years that he lived in Rome. His natural ability for making rapid sketches of figures and costumes meant that he was often in demand as an illustrator of local festivals and events.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    David AllanScottish (1744 - 1796)
  • title:
    A Highland Dance
  • date created:
    About 1780
  • materials:
    Brush and watercolour over pencil on paper
  • measurements:
    29.40 x 80.40 cm (framed: 51.90 x 101.50 x 2.30 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased by the Patrons of the National Galleries of Scotland 1990
  • accession number:
    D 5185
  • gallery:
  • subject:
Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Tell us what you think.

David Allan

David Allan