About this artwork

The Royal Review of the Scottish Volunteer regiments in Holyrood Park was the defining social event in Edinburgh in 1860. Among the participating regiments was the Artists’ Company whose members included John Pettie, William McTaggart and the expatriate English landscape painter Samuel Bough. Three other leading Scottish painters, D.O. Hill, Noel Paton and W.B. Johnstone, Keeper of the new National Gallery of Scotland, advised the civic authorities on the design of the ceremonial decorations. Bough’s ambitious picture was one of several commemorative paintings undertaken as a commercial venture by opportunistic local artists. In the foreground, below St Anthony’s Chapel, artillerymen are firing a salute to greet Queen Victoria and her cortège who are about to inspect the regiments.

  • title: Royal Volunteer Review, 7 August 1860
  • accession number: NG 801
  • artist: Samuel BoughEnglish (1822 - 1878)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Military and naval
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: Dated 1860
  • measurements: 118.10 x 179.00 cm (framed: 156.00 x 217.50 x 18.00 cm)
  • credit line: Presented by Charles T Combe 1887
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Samuel Bough

Samuel Bough

Although born in England, Bough became one of the most influential figures in the development of nineteenth-century Scottish landscape painting. A largely self-taught artist, he spent the early part of his career in Manchester and Glasgow painting scenes for theatrical sets. Bough later dedicated himself to landscape painting, and became adept at illustrating the fleeting effects of weather. This is especially clear in his paintings of Cadzow Forest in South Lanarkshire. He settled in Edinburgh in 1855, and was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Academy the following year. Bough enjoyed tremendous popularity as an artist. His views of rivers and ports of the 1850s and 1860s show his masterful combination of realism and expressive colouring to capture natural effects.