About this artwork

This image - a favourite Edinburgh scene - shows people skating on the Loch at Duddingston village. Winter leisure pursuits had long been a subject in European genre painting. We can tell that some organisation went into this popular event - a boat and a ladder are waiting in readiness on the snowy patch just off the shore. Ladders were used to rescue those who fell through the ice.

John Patrick

John Patrick

John Patrick was a commercial photographer who worked in Kirkcaldy in Fife before moving to Edinburgh. He was also an amateur painter. His studio at 52 Comiston Road was 'the haunt' of many literary and artistic figures. Patrick is best known for his portraits of Thomas Carlyle, taken during Carlyle's last visit to Kirkcaldy with his family in 1874. However, the photographer's move to the more competitive Edinburgh market appears not to have been successful. On his death he was 'bereft of all through no fault of his own, unless not having money-sense is a fault'.