John Flaxman

Robert Burns

John Flaxman

c.1828 (commissioned in 1824)

White marble

Scottish National Portrait Gallery


Other Views

  • Whole statue
  • Detail (1)
  • Detail (ploughshare, tam-o'shanter and thistle)
  • Pedestal and bas-relief
  • Based on the famous portrait by Alexander Naismyth, the statue was completed after Flaxman's death in 1826 by the sculptor's pupil and brother-in-law, Thomas Denman (see "Robert Burns"). The poet is shown in plaid and knee-breeches, a small bunch of daisies in one hand, a roll of paper in the other, standing in the open in front of a tree-stump. A ploughshare, tam-o'shanter and thistle lie at his feet, all symbolic of his role as Scotland's ploughboy poet. A bas-relief on the pedestal depicts the Muse crowning the seated Burns. According to the inscription on the pedestal, the work was paid for by widespread subscription. The statue was formerly housed in the fine neo-classical Burns Monument (1830) designed by Thomas Hamilton, on Regent Road, Edinburgh (see "Historic Scotland"). [continued below]

    Photograph, caption, and commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee

    [You may not reproduce this image without prior permission from the Scottish National Portrait Gallery]