About this artwork

This painting shows the Nor' Loch, which covered the ground now occupied by Princes Street Gardens. At the time Nasmyth was painting the loch had already been drained so the artist intended a reminiscence or reconstruction of the original appearance of this site. The building of the Royal Institution on The Mound in the 1820s might very naturally have prompted the artist to think about the site in its original form.

Alexander Nasmyth

Alexander Nasmyth

Nasmyth's impressive landscapes are his most significant contribution to painting in Scotland. One of his most famous works, however, is the portrait of his friend, the poet Robert Burns. Nasmyth, a pupil of Runciman, was assistant to Allan Ramsay and developed a sound appreciation of the importance of drawing to educate the artist's eye and hand. His interest in landscape painting stimulated his involvement with landscaping projects, including the layout of the grounds of Inveraray Castle. He was also an accomplished engineer, designing and building several bridges, and an influential teacher, inspiring many younger artists including his own children.