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Ross, Walter, 1738–1789
A description of the paintings in the Hall of Ossian, at Pennycuik near Edinburgh.
Edinburgh : Printed for A. Kincaid, and W. Creech, MDCCLXXIII [1773]
Physical Description:
[2], 50 pages ; 21 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
ND477 .D47 1773
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Attributed to Walter Ross.
English short title catalogue, T164718
BAC: British Art Center copy bound in nineteenth century calf with marbled boards.
Painted by the Edinburgh artist Alexander Runciman (1736-1785), for the owner Sir James Clerk, this large group of bold works in oil on plaster, depicting scenes from James Macpherson's poem Ossian, decorated the saloon. The interior was destroyed by fire in 1899. This first-hand description was written by the lawyer and antiquary Walter Ross (1738-1789) who begins with comments on poetry and art in relation to Ossian before proceeding with a detailed description of the room and the various individual paintings: "Scandinavian Wizards making their incantations ... the landscape is exactly that of the poet: a roaring torrent and high broken rocks around: in these rocks the painter has opened a large dark cave: before the mouth of it stands the image of Loda, a black unshapely Gothic figure; round the image, within a circle, a number of skulls and bones ly scattered five old wizards in distorted frightful attitudes are howling around ..."
Subject Terms:
Art -- Private collections -- Early works to 1800.
Clerk, John, Sir, 1676-1755 -- Art collections.
Macpherson, James, 1736-1796. Ossian.
Painting, Scottish -- Early works to 1800.
Runciman, Alexander, 1736-1785.
Creech, William, 1745-1815, publisher.
Kincaid, Alexander, 1710 or 1711-1777, publisher.

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