• R
  • Alexander Reid
Robert Burns, 1759 - 1796. Poet 1795 - 1796


  • Scottish Art
When Burns's first collection of poems was published in the summer of 1786, the critics greeted this well-educated son of an Ayrshire farmer as a 'Heaven-taught ploughman'. Many of his poems remain famous world-wide : Auld Lang Syne, My Love is like a Red, Red Rose, Twa' Dogs and To a Mouse. Alexander Reid's miniature portrait belongs to the last eighteen months of Burns's life, when he was working as an excise officer in Dumfries. According to the poet, this was 'the best likeness' of him ever to be made.

Glossary Open


A painting or drawing, usually a portrait, on a very small scale. These were popular prior to the invention of photographic portraits in the 19th century.



  • Acc. No. PG 341
  • Medium Watercolour on ivory
  • Size 7.60 x 6.30 cm
  • Credit Bequeathed by W.F. Watson 1886