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Exhibition Set to Celebrate 19th Century Scottish Adventure-seeking Artist

Posted: 24th March 2016

A collection of watercolours and architectural studies by adventurous artist David Roberts, is set to open in a new exhibition, helping mark the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.


Drawings from the Helen Guiterman Bequest, which opens 25th March-10th July at Duff House, will showcase more than 30 drawings and watercolours by the artist throughout his career. Also on display will be a portrait of David in Arab dress, painted by Robert Scott Lauder.

David is regarded as one of Britain’s most prolific and adventurous artists of the first half of the 19th century. Earning his reputation, he travelled extensively throughout Europe and was also amongst the very first artists to undertake a tour of the Near and Middle East in 1838. This sense of adventure is demonstrated in the works which form the exhibition. From a view of Edinburgh’s iconic cityscape from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle to the elaborate interiors of Spain’s Seville Cathedral, the artwork allow visitors to chart David’s travels. The collection includes a number of fine views and offers an insight into the landscapes, historic cathedrals and buildings that inspired him throughout his 40 year career.

Graeme Curra,Duff House Manager, said: “With more than 30 watercolours and intricate architectural drawings capturing the landscapes and historical buildings of Scotland and further afield, the David Roberts exhibition is a wonderful opportunity for visitors to explore the travels of this 19th century adventurer through his work. It’s also fitting that we should welcome this exhibition, showcasing one of the country’s leading architectural artists, as we mark Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design in 2016.”

Charlotte Topsfield, Curator of the exhibition, added: “This exhibition will provide a fresh view into one of Scotland’s leading topographical artists and most intrepid travellers. From skillful pencil studies to dramatic cathedral interiors and panoramic landscapes, the drawings and watercolours on display demonstrate Roberts’ talent and versatility as an artist and his passionate interest in recording all that he saw on his travels.”

The exhibition is being shown in partnership with the National Galleries of Scotland, with the majority of artworks on display being drawn from the Helen Guiterman Bequest. Helen became the leading expert on David and his works from the 60’s. She spent over 30 years researching his life and career and amassed a large collection of his work, which was bequeathed to the Scottish National Gallery through the Art Fund in 2008.

This exhibition is included in the cost of admission to the House and is free for members. For more information click here

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