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  • John Le Conte
Edinburgh Castle from the Grassmarket

Reference URL

Edinburgh Castle from the Grassmarket

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
The Grassmarket is a spacious open square running along the south side of Edinburgh's Castle rock. It was traditionally the location of the weekly market for corn and cattle, but the east end of the Grassmarket was also the site of the public gallows, last used in 1784. Le Conte’s small, sketchy watercolour is interspersed with areas of great detail, such as the legible shop signs advertising ‘Tobacco + Snuff’, and the flocks of minute birds flying above the castle ramparts. The everyday scene of street-life in the foreground contrasts with the foreboding backdrop of the imposing castle and threatening grey sky.

Glossary Open


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



  • Acc. No. D 4641
  • Medium Pen and ink and watercolour on paper
  • Size 36.80 x 25.10 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1953