A landscape by Alexander Nasmyth, painted in 1825, on display at the Scottish National Gallery. This is Edinburgh a few years after the completion of the New Town, looking east along Princes Street. We are at the foot of the ‘earthen mound’ which was built to scale the steep drop of castle rock, using excavated material from the New Town foundations. The basin is the recently drained Nor’Loch which will form Princes Street Gardens. In the foreground are the first columns of William Playfair’s Royal Institution, now known as the Royal Scottish Academy.

The artist Alexander Nasmyth was born and studied in Edinburgh, originally planning a career in architecture - a subject which appears in much of his work. But he was spotted by the celebrated portrait painter Allan Ramsay who trained him in portraiture, though he then travelled to study landscape painting in Italy where he was influenced by artists like Claude - perhaps why his Scottish landscapes seem to be bathed in golden Mediterranean light.

A superb example of the art of book binding - Cosway Style Binding.- Burns (Robert)
Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect,
Second (first Edinburgh) edition, first issue , engraved portrait frontispiece after J. Beugo by A. Nasmyth, green and purple morocco doublures, Cosway-style sunken panel miniature of Robert Burns within a bejewelled gilt frame on upper doublure, purple morocco for C. J. Sawyer by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, t.e.g., g.e., gilt floral motifs to spine with red morocco inlays, covers elaborately gilt with small floral tools and a central panel of the authors initials to upper cover and thistle motif to the lower cover, 8vo, Edinburgh, printed for the author and sold by William Creech, 1787

Warren De La Rue (British, active 19th century), The Full Moon, from The Moon considered as a Planet, a World and A Satellite by James Hall Nasmyth (English, 1808-1890) and J. Carpenter (1874), 1851/1854 (negative); 1874 (print), Woodburytype

Portland Art Museum

One of 15 assorted photographs of James Nasmyth’s crater models illuminated at a low angle showing Vesuvius and neighbourhood of Naples and originally mounted in Nasmyth’s own album.  Illustrated in the book, ‘The Moon’ by Nasmyth & Carpenter (London, 1874), plate VI right.