James Edgar

Rev. Thomas Guthrie, 1803 - 1873. Preacher and philanthropist (Exhibited as Dr Guthrie on a Mission of Mercy) (1862)

About this artwork

This painting of the influential churchman and social reformer Thomas Guthrie was originally titled 'Dr Guthrie on a Mission of Mercy'. Guthrie was born in Brechin in Angus. He helped found the Free Church of Scotland in 1843 and he is shown here in the shadow of his Free St John's Church, at the head of Edinburgh's Lawnmarket. In the distance is St Giles Cathedral. Guthrie was an outspoken supporter of education for all and a passionate opponent of alcohol abuse.The children grouped around him are likely to be pupils from one of the Ragged schools which Guthrie founded in the area, whilst the tavern behind him reminds us of his other concerns.

  • title: Rev. Thomas Guthrie, 1803 - 1873. Preacher and philanthropist (Exhibited as Dr Guthrie on a Mission of Mercy)
  • accession number: PG 2633
  • artist: James EdgarScottish (1819 - 1876)
  • depicted: Rev. Thomas Guthrie
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Religion and occultism
  • date created: 1862
  • measurements: 21.50 x 18.00 in.; 54.70 x 45.70 cm
  • credit line: Purchased 1984
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

James Edgar

James Edgar

A painter of portraits, genre subjects and landscapes, James Edgar was based in Edinburgh and exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy from 1843 until his death. Posthumous drawings of Robert Burns by him are in the collections of the National Galleries of Scotland.