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  • Thomas Hamilton
Design for the Dean Orphanage, Edinburgh

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Design for the Dean Orphanage, Edinburgh About 1830

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
This drawing by Thomas Hamilton shows the Dean Orphanage in Edinburgh before its construction from 1831 to 1833. Hamilton was the architect for the project and an accomplished watercolourist, who may have intended this drawing as a model for an engineer. Built of local Craigleith stone, the building is a curious mix of neo-classical and baroque features. It was designed to accommodate the Orphan Hospital of Edinburgh, which until then had been housed in the grounds of Trinity Hospital. During the 1990s the building was refurbished by architects Terry Farrell & Partners and in 1999 it was reopened by the National Galleries of Scotland as the Modern Two. The building now houses important Surrealist works and the Eduardo Paolozzi collection.

Glossary Open


A general term for European art and architecture from the 17th to the mid 18th centuries. It particularly refers to works characterised by a sense of movement and theatricality.


The revival of ancient Greek and Roman models of art and architecture, with particular importance put on simplicity and discipline. Such ideals have been revived at various points in history and contrast with more decadent and dynamic styles such as the Baroque.


A literary and artistic movement founded by the poet André Breton in 1924. Many of the associated artists, such as Max Ernst and Jean Arp, had previously been involved with Dadaism. The movement sought to challenge conventions through the exploration of the subconscious mind, invoking the power of dreams and elements of chance. Cultural hierarchies were challenged by the combination of diverse elements in collages and sculptural assemblages. The movement is also notable for the collaborations between artists and writers evident in the Surrealists' many publications.


A paint with colouring and binding agents diluted with water. It has a transparent quality and is usually applied to paper.

Baroque, Neo-classicism, Surrealism, Watercolour


  • Acc. No. D 2639
  • Medium Pen and ink and watercolour over pencil on paper
  • Size 29.90 x 40.70 cm
  • Credit William Findlay Watson Bequest 1881