« AnteriorContinuar »
A LIFE OF THE AUTHOR, AND REMARKS ON
JAMES GRAY, Esq.
OF THE HIGH SCHOOL, EDINBURGH,
PRINTED FOR JOHN FAIRBAIRN,
JOHN ANDERSON, JUN. 55. NORTH BRIDGE-STREET,
AND T. TEGG, LONDON.
ROBERT FERGUSSON sate only once for his portrait, which was taken in a singular manner by the celebrated Scottish painter, Alexander Runciman. Mr Thomas Sommers of Edinburgh, in a Life of the Poet, published by him in 1803, gives the following account of the circumstances under which Fergusson's portrait was taken: "That artist," (Runciman) says he, was in 1772 painting in his own house in the Pleasance, a picture, on a half-length cloth, of the Prodigal Son, in which his fancy and pencil had introduced every necessary object and circumstance suggested by the sacred passage. At his own desire, I called to see it: I was much pleased with the composition, colouring, and admirable effect of the piece, at least what was done of it; but expressed my surprise at observing a large space in the centre, exhibiting nothing but chalk outlines of a human figure. He informed me, that he had reserved that space for the Prodigal, but could not find a young man whose personal form, and expressive features, were such as he could approve of, and commit to the canvass. Robert Fergusson's face and figure instantly occurred to me; not from an