This view of Edinburgh appears to have been painted before the building of the New Town. The viewpoint towards the castle is from the Craigleith quarries in the north-west of the city, from where most of the stone for this astonishing urban development would come. At this time the city prospered and as a result the decorative arts were becoming increasingly important. James Norie senior, who was primarily a house-painter, painted a number of panelled rooms in the city. This picture, painted in a monochromatic colour scheme characteristic of the Norie family, was probably made to be inset in painted wooden panelling above a fireplace.