Robert Fergusson, 1750 - 1774. Poet

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Robert Fergusson, 1750 - 1774. Poet about 1772


  • Scottish Art
Runciman has painted his friend, a young poet, lost in creative thought. His exaggerated features - huge eyes, full lips - suggest brilliance and intensity. Fergusson's health was frail and there are various different accounts as to what led to his death, aged twenty-four in a public asylum. This includes a head injury, manic-depressive psychosis, syphilis and hypothermia. His most famous poem is ‘Auld Reekie’ (1773), which follows a day in the life of Edinburgh. Much of his work was written in Scots - the language of Lowland Scotland - and was an important inspiration to Robert Burns.


  • Acc. No. PG 1863
  • Medium Oil on paper on millboard
  • Size 26.70 x 21.30 cm (framed: 35.30 x 29.30 x 2.60 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1959