Alexander Reid of Kirkennan, Loch with Ruin - c.1797 watercolour painting


An original c.1797 watercolour painting, Alexander Reid of Kirkennan Lake with Ruin.

An extremely rare watercolour by Alexander Reid of Kirkennan (1747-1823), artist of the famous Robert Burns miniature portrait in the National Galleries of Scotland, which the poet described as 'the best likeness' of him ever to be made.

This painting shows an 18th-century lake or loch view with castle ruin, likely in Scotland. There are various castle ruins in Scotland’s lochs - such as Kilchurn Castle on Loch Awe, in Argyll and Bute, Loch Doon Castle in Ayrshire, or Loch an Eilein Castle, near Aviemore - however, this does not exactly match these.

With separate accompanying backing card giving the attribution in the hand of Reid's great-nephew, George Corson: 'By Alexr Reid'.

The picture has various condition issues, including a large repaired tear extending centrally down the image. There are two further repaired tears extending from the right edge. Scattered marks and toning, and some creasing, as shown. Please see photos for detail.
18cm x 25.7cm.

This is one of a collection of four watercolours by Reid that we have for sale.

Alexander Reid of Kirkennan (1747-1823) was proprietor of the large Kirkennan estate near Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbright. A certain amount is known about his life: he received his artistic training in London and in Paris; executed numerous portraits, pictures, and drawings of persons, places, and scenes in Dumfries and Galloway; had a studio in the town of Dumfries, in which, in 1796, he painted a now-famous miniature portrait of Burns; he succeeded to Kirkennan on the death of his brother William, in 1804, and died unmarried, in 1823, aged 76.

The value of his work, however, is in its importance to vernacular literature and national history and antiquities. As a Stewarty Laird he was connected with all the most interesting people in one of the most interesting districts in Scotland, during a momentous period of Scottish history. He was friends with Burns, Francis Grose, Robert Glenriddell, during the rise of Romanticism in the arts and a period which did so much to shape our view of Scotland’s history today. Reid’s works, mainly topographical in nature, provide rare illustration of the persons, places and scenes of this area at this time.

Furthermore, his known work is extremely rare; of six engravings from his paintings known to collectors, the original of only one of them, ‘Kipp Cairns’, has been traced to its present owner.

Our four paintings were until now hidden from public view in a collection of works belonging to Reid’s great nephew, George Corson.

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Product code: JM-533

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