Burntisland lies between Aberdour and Kinghorn on the south coast of Fife. Much decayed in the eighteenth century, it became popular in the nineteenth century as a holiday resort. Wilson shows a view across the old harbour towards Rossend Castle in the middle distance. The castle had a romantic history with associations with Mary, Queen of Scots, Cromwell and the Jacobites. This serene harbour scene is bathed in a golden diffused light that recalls the classical seaport paintings of Claude Lorraine that were very popular in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Wilson’s picture, however, shows figures and activities from contemporary life. This painting is probably one of a number of views of towns on the Firth of Forth which Wilson exhibited in Edinburgh in 1824.