Mossgiel, Ayrshire (1855)
About this artwork
Robert Burns’s family moved to Mossgiel Farm near Mauchline in 1784. They had previously had Mount Oliphant and Lochlea farms. Working on the land and observing the customs of rural life inspired some of Robert Burns’s best known work. The family were never very successful farmers, but even the misery the family endured as a result of their infertile land provided stimulation for prose such as ‘In the character of a ruined Farmer’ (1771). Here, Kennedy shows an idyllic view of farm life, with Mossgiel bathed in sunshine.
Little is known about the landscape painter John Kennedy, who was active in the 1850s. He was master of the School of Art at Dundee, and he is believed to have died in 1904. The Department of Prints and Drawings at the Scottish National Gallery has five watercolours by Kennedy, all dating from 1855. They show scenes relating to the life of the poet Robert Burns (1759-1796).