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John Blair's Edinburgh Views

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John Blair's Edinburgh Views
John Blair's Edinburgh Views
From the title cover sleeve:
"Edina! Scotia's darling seat!
All hail thy palaces and towers,
Where once beneath a monarch's feet,
Sat legislations sov'reign powers!"

by Robert Burns

Atmospheric scenes of late 19th century Edinburgh landmarks and landscapes from watercolour paintings by artist John Blair.

The images are taken from a volume of loose lithographic prints dated 1892 which were printed in Paris and published by Aitken Dott of Castle Street. Many of the pictures contain moonlight or fading light and evocative weather conditions. The views are scenes of Edinburgh's famous streets populated with typical residents of the time or picture postcard vistas looking from different geographic points towards the city's famous skyline.

There is one picture however, which seems to sit apart from the rest. It is a view of the Scott Monument looking east along Princes Street. The street characters seem in this view more defined and there are three men walking in a line towards the viewer each wearing sandwich board advertisements. On further inspection, the boards display signs promoting a Castle Street exhibition of watercolours by John Blair, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the artist himself and his publishers.