About this artwork

This watercolour drawing shows the Cathedral of St Magnus in Kirkwall, Orkney in 1808. At the time, the building had a low pyramid steeple, which was replaced by a tall steeple during renovations that were carried out between 1913 and 1930. To the right of the cathedral, in the background, Bishop Reid’s Tower is visible. Now a ruin, the tower was built by Bishop Reid in the mid-1500s as his residence. He later went on to found the University of Edinburgh. Kidd’s view is of serene everyday life around the cathedral as people go about their business in the summer sunshine. The drawing is inscribed ‘J Kidd, Dell, 4th June 1808’.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Cathedral of St Magnus, Kirkwall, Orkney
  • date created:
    Dated June 4th, 1808
  • materials:
    Pencil and watercolour on paper
  • measurements:
    33.80 x 46.50 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Provenance unknown
  • accession number:
    D 4118
  • gallery:
    View by Appointment
  • subject:
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J. Kidd

J. Kidd