Show Navigation

Print entitled 'William Smellie FSA'

Back

View Large Image

'William Smellie FSA' c 1790

Introduction:
William Smellie and his partner, William Creech were responsible for printing the Edinburgh edition of Burns work. It was in his untidy office in the Anchor Close, off the High Street, that Burns corrected his proofs. William Smellie was widely regarded for his knowledge of literature and science and was the editor and principal author of the first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Image Rights Holder:
Dumfries & Galloway Museums Service
Ref:
165
Project:
241:Robert Burns - People and Places
Material:
Paper
Dimensions:
Image - length: 145 mm, width: 120 mm
What:
Print entitled 'William Smellie FSA'
Subject:
This portrait of William Smellie was published in 'The Land of Burns - A series of Landscapes and Portraits, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of the Scottish Poet'. This was published in 1846 by Blackie and Son of Glasgow. At this time the development of steel plate engraving made it possible for images to be reproduced in much greater numbers than previous printing technology had allowed. Books such as this one, illustrated by engravings of works by eminent artists became popular, although they were still expensive and beyond the pocket of most people.
Who:
Robert Burns (1759-1796) (his friend and printer)
William Creech (1745-1815)(publisher) (his printing partner)
Maria Banks Woodley Riddell (1772-1808) (his friend)
Robert Chambers (1802-1871) (author)
Professor Wilson (author)
Blackie and Son (Queen Street, Glasgow) (publisher)
W and D Duncan (Glasgow) (printer)
H B Hall (engraver)
George Watson (1767-1837) (artist)
William Smellie (1740-1795) (representation)
When:
1846
Where:
Dumfries Museum, Dumfries & Galloway
Background:
This portrait of William Smellie was published in 'The Land of Burns - A series of Landscapes and Portraits, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of the Scottish Poet'. This was published in 1846 by Blackie and Son of Glasgow. At this time the development of steel plate engraving made it possible for images to be reproduced in much greater numbers than previous printing technology had allowed. Books such as this one, illustrated by engravings of works by eminent artists became popular, although they were still expensive and beyond the pocket of most people.
Description:
Burns introduced Smellie to his friend, Maria Riddell and despite their different backgrounds they became close friends and correspondents from then on. In 1792 Smellie travelled to Dumfries to visit Burns and Maria Riddell. This portrait was painted in the 1790s by the artist, George Watson who was then married to Smellie's daughter, Rebecca.