A study of the emergence of a particular kind of
Scottish cultural consciousness in the years
after the Union of 1707.
Setting the Scene
The Artists


"Art and Culture in Eighteenth Century Scotland" was written in 1981 as part of my Drawing and Painting degree at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee. Very shortly after moving to Dundee I became intensely interested in Scottish traditional song and music, and when I had to choose a subject for my dissertation, it seemed sensible to combine my interests in painting and Scottish music. The 18th century, a truly remarkable time in Edinburgh in particular, became a passion. This was a time when not only Scottish art was being celebrated, but Scots poetry in form of Robert Fergusson and Burns, traditional music with the great collections of the Gow family and others, folksong, philosophy and our native culture in general.

I hope you enjoy this essay. It has to be said that while researching it, I discovered that many of my ideas, which I thought so original, had actually been extensively explored - and better so - by others, in particular Duncan MacMillan, who I had the pleasure to meet and receive help from at the time. Any comments or feedback welcome (email me).

Nigel Gatherer