About this artwork

This closely-observed portrait of the Haddington farmer and song-writer was painted by his son whose work is also represented in the National Gallery of Scotland's collection by pastel portraits of exceptional refinement. Adam Skirving is best known as the author of 'Hey Johnnie Cope', written to taunt Lieutenant-General Sir John Cope after his defeat by the Jacobites at the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745. Apart from writing ballads, Skirving did not play an active role in the rising.

  • title:
    Adam Skirving, 1719 - 1803. Song writer; author of 'Hey, Johnnie Cope'
  • accession number:
    PG 596
  • artist:
  • depicted:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • date created:
    About 1770
  • measurements:
    76.20 x 62.90 cm
  • credit line:
    Bequeathed by David Ainslie 1901

Archibald Skirving

Archibald Skirving