"Robert Burns", 1786

A steel plate engraving from the portrait painted by Peter Taylor in 1786.   Peter Taylor was a house and coach painter in Edinburgh. In 1829 the writer James Hogg published a conversation which had taken place with the painter's widow seventeen years earlier in which she claimed that the painting of the portrait was done privately as her husband had been a friend of the poet in his early days in Edinburgh.   It was exhibited at the Great Exhibition held at Crystal Palace in 1859 and remained in the Taylor family until 1927 when it was bequeathed to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. If its authenticity is accepted it is the earliest likeness made of Robert Burns.   This steel plate engraving was engraved by John Horsburgh and published in 1830.
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John Horsburgh [1791 - 1869]
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width: 188 mm, length: 222 mm
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Dumfries & Galloway Council
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