Robert Ainslie

A stippled steel plate engraving from an earlier portrait of Robert Burns' friend and confidante.   Robert Ainslie was a young law student in an Edinburgh office when Burns met him in 1787. He shared the poet's zest for life and they became close friends. Robert Ainslie accompanied Robert Burns on the first stage of his tour of the Borders in 1787.   This portrait shows Ainsle in later life, when he was established as a solicitor. He became religious as he grew older but did not destroy the scurrilous letters which he had received from Burns even though the poet had requested that he do so.   This portrait of Robert Ainslie was published in "The Land of Burns - A series of Landscapes and Portraits, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of the Scottish Poet". This was published in 1846 by Blackie and Son of Glasgow. At this time the development of steel plate engraving made it possible for images to be reproduced in much greater numbers than previous printing technology had allowed. Books such as this one, illustrated by engravings of works by eminent artists, became popular, although they were still expensive and beyond the pocket of most people.
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Creator :
J Cochran
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Dimensions :
width: 105 mm, length: 120 mm
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Accession number :
DUMFM:0199.72 [Land of Burns, Volume I]
Copyright :
Dumfries & Galloway Council
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