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The Porteous Mob

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The Porteous Mob 1855

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
The Grassmarket in Edinburgh provides a splendid backdrop for Drummond's theatrical portrayal of events described in Sir Walter Scott's novel, the 'Heart of Midlothian'. Drummond concentrated on one dramatic moment: the lynching of Captain Porteous of the Edinburgh City Guard in 1736. Porteous, however, depicted in red and spreadeagled on the shoulders of his executioners in the middle distance, is of secondary importance in the composition. Precedence is given to a variety of incidents and colourful characters in the foreground. The Royal Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts in Scotland bought the painting in 1856.

Glossary Open


The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.

Royal Association for the Promotion of the Fine Ar

A 19th century Edinburgh-based artists' organisation that sought to foster Scottish painting. It supported artists by publishing many volumes of engravings after paintings, particularly of Scottish landscape and history and illustrations of the works of Walter Scott and Robert Burns.

Composition, Royal Association for the Promotion of the Fine Ar


  • Acc. No. NG 180
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 111.80 x 152.50 cm (framed: 142.80 x 182.70 x 8.40 cm)
  • Credit Purchased by RAPFAS 1856; transferred 1897