Show Navigation

Robert Burns


Postcard of a coloured engraving of a portrait of Robert Burns

Image Rights Holder:
Dumfries & Galloway Museums Service
:Future Museum
width: 137 mm, length: 88 mm
Robert Burns
W and A K Johnston Limited, Edinburgh (Publisher)
20th Century
Burns, Robert “The Complete Letters of Robert Burns”, Ed. James A Mackay. Ayr: Alloway Publishing Limited, 1987; Burns, Robert “The Letters of Robert Burns”, 2 vols., Ed. J de Lancey Ferguson and G Ross Roy. Oxford: Clarendon, 1985; Crawford, Robert “The Bard – Robert Burns, a Biography”. London: Jonathan Cape, 2009; Gibson, James “The Bibliography of Robert Burns, with Biographical and Bibliographical Notes and Sketches of Burns Clubs, Monuments and Statues”. Kilmarnock: James M’Kie, 1881; Hogg, Patrick Scott “Robert Burns – The Patriot Bard”. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 2008; Lindsay, Maurice “Robert Burns – The Man, his Work, the Legend”. New York and London: Robert Hale and St Martin’s Press, 1979; Lindsay, Maurice “The Burns Encyclopaedia”, 3rd edition. London and New York: Robert Hale and St Martin’s Press, 1980; Mackay, James “Burnsiana”. Ayr: Alloway Publishing Limited, 1988; Mackay, James “A Biography of Robert Burns”. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992; McIntyre, Ian “Dirt & Deity – A Life of Robert Burns”. London: HarperCollins, 1995; Skinner, Basil “Burns: Authentic Likenesses”, 2nd edition. Ayr: Alloway Publishing, 1990; Town Council of the Royal Burgh of Dumfries (Issued) “Catalogue of Exhibits with Official Handbook of Burns’ House Dumfries and other memories of the National Poet”. Dumfries: Robert Dinwiddie, 1944; Westwood, Peter J “The Deltiology of Robert Burns”. Dumfries: Creedon Publications, 1994

"Scotland's Bard, Robert Burns. Born 1759. Died 1796."  A coloured lithographic postcard of a likeness of Robert Burns against a classical landscape.


This likeness of Robert Burns is taken from the authentic portrait painted from life by Alexander Nasmyth in 1787. It shows Robert Burns at the age of twenty eight during the year he spent in Edinburgh following the successful publication of the first edition of his poems.


Burns was acclaimed as a poet and became popular in Edinburgh Society. His portrait was commissioned by his publisher, William Creech, to be engraved for the frontispiece of the Edinburgh edition of his work.


It is this picture of Robert Burns, made during his rise to fame, which has endured in the popular imagination. Many published images have been derived from it over the years since his early death. This postcard was written in 1908 in Burns House, Dumfries which was a place of pilgrimage for Burns enthusiasts and already contained a museum in memory of the poet.