Robert Burns (after the oil painting by Alexander Nasmyth, 1758-1840.) 1893. Mezzotint. Hardie 62. 14 1/16 x 10 7/8 (sheet 15 3/4 x 12 1/2). Edition 250 published January 25th 1893 by by Robt. Dunthorne of London and Liverpool. A rich impression with plate tone printed on Japan paper. Signed in pencil. $500.
This half-length portrait of Burns in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, framed within an oval, has become the most well-known and widely reproduced image of the famous Scottish poet. Nasmyth's painting, commissioned by the publisher William Creech, was to be engraved for a new edition of Burn's poems. He is shown fashionably dressed against a landscape, evoking his rural background in Alloway, Ayrshire. Burns and Nasmyth had become good friends, having been introduced to one another in Edinburgh by a mutual patron, Patrick Miller of Dalswinton. Nasmyth, pleased to have recorded Burns' likeness convincingly, decided to leave the painting in a slightly unfinished state. Born in Edinburgh, Nasmyth was often called the "father of Scottish landscape painting he became Scotland's best known portrait and landscape artist.
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