Robert Burns

1 portrait on display in Room 18 at the National Portrait Gallery

Robert Burns, by Alexander Nasmyth, circa 1821-1822 (1787) - NPG 46 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Robert Burns

by Alexander Nasmyth
oil on canvas, circa 1821-1822 (1787)
16 in. x 11 1/2 in. (406 mm x 292 mm)
Given by John Dillon, 1858
Primary Collection
NPG 46


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Sitterback to top

  • Robert Burns (1759-1796), Poet. Sitter associated with 11 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Alexander Nasmyth (1758-1840), Painter and scientist. Artist associated with 6 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Nasmyth, a landscape artist, painted the first version of this portrait in 1787. He was commissioned to make this copy by George Thomson, a collector of Scottish songs, in 1820.

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Events of 1787back to top

Current affairs

Social reformers Granville Sharp and Thomas Clarkson found the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade in London with support from John Wesley, Josiah Wedgwood and others. George III shows first signs of mental instability in November.

Art and science

Painter Robert Barker takes out a patent on the Panorama.. Astronomer William Herschel discovers the two moons of Uranus, Titania and Oberon. The original Lord's Cricket Ground holds its first cricket match.

International

Captain William Bligh sets sail for Tahiti on The Bounty. First performance of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Don Giovanni at the National Theatre, Prague. A British ship lands a party of freed slaves as the first modern settlers in Sierra Leone. Captain Arthur Phillip leaves Portsmouth with eleven ships full of convicts to establish a penal colony in Australia. Bahamas become a British colony.

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