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A Highland Soldier

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A Highland Soldier About 1785

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
In 1788, Allan began a series of watercolours depicting the local characters of Edinburgh. This drawing of a Highland soldier was part of the series, which also included a fishwife, chimney sweep and a fireman. Allan carefully studied these figures, often exaggerating certain traits or characteristics so that they almost look like caricatures. His pictures of the people and scenes of everyday life earned him the title of the 'Scottish Hogarth'. His work greatly influenced other artists in Scotland and he was considered the father of Scottish genre painting.

Glossary Open


A portrait with the facial features exaggerated for comic or satirical effect.


A French term that denotes different types of paintings, such as landscape, portrait or still life. The phrase ‘genre painting’ is used specifically to describe works depicting everyday scenes.


A paint with colouring and binding agents diluted with water. It has a transparent quality and is usually applied to paper.

Caricature , Genres, Watercolour


  • Acc. No. D 395
  • Medium Pen, grey ink and watercolour with traces of pencil in a ruled black ink border on paper
  • Size 24.40 x 18.30 cm
  • Credit David Laing Bequest to the Royal Scottish Academy transferred 1910