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Cardinal Beaton's House, the Cowgate, Edinburgh

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Cardinal Beaton's House, the Cowgate, Edinburgh 1868

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
This is one of the images which Burns included in a book, called 'Picturesque Bits from Old Edinburgh' and published in 1868. Although the photographs record the historic buildings of the Old Town, Burns wanted them to be a reminder of the 'pain in the present'; the squalid and overcrowded conditions in which the poor lived. There is nevertheless a lot of charm in this picture and, although, there are no figures in the street, it is clearly inhabited.

Glossary Open


A term applied to certain landscape images and garden or architectural designs. The idea became prominent in the 18th century to describe irregular or rough scenes that were deemed worthy to be painted. This includes subjects such as ruined castles or ramshackle cottages.



  • Acc. No. PGP R 814
  • Medium Albumen print
  • Size 10.6 x 8.5 cm
  • Credit Gift of Mrs. Riddell in memory of Peter Fletcher Riddell 1985