Art News

Painting of Edinburgh Castle for auction at Bonhams annual Scottish sale

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A recently rediscovered painting of Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street as it would have appeared to the Victorians is for sale at Bonhams Scottish Sale Part I in Edinburgh on 20 August. It is estimated at £100,000-150,000.


The huge canvas – it is over 5ft high – was painted in the early 1860s by the Carlisle born Samuel Bough who after a career as a theater scene painter settled in Scotland in 1855. As an artist and man he had a reputation for being wild and erratic but his best works are regarded as masterpieces. His friend, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote admiringly in his obituary of the artist, “a painting by Bough was an act of dashing conduct like a capture of a fort in war.” Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street has been in the same family since its purchase and has almost certainly never been exhibited.


Bonhams Head of Pictures in Scotland, Chris Brickley, said, “Bough’s memory was legendary, particularly for cloud and atmospheric effects, and these are put to full use in Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street in the light summer sky, foliage, dappling sunlight and steam from the trains arriving at Waverley Station. The deft touch and spontaneity of the foreground in particular, describing elegant figures perambulating and carriages on the cobbles, have much in common with ‘Pre-Impressionists’ such as Eugene Boudin.”

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