by E Patricia Dennison, Stuart Eydmann, Annie Lyell, Michael Lynch & Simon Stronach
Painting the Town: Scottish Urban History in Art displays a stunning visual record of contemporary images of Scotland’s towns and townspeople before photography. Over 200 paintings, engravings, sketches, and maps offer a unique insight into the changing lifestyle and townscapes of Scotland. The book features the paintings of well-known artists, such as Charles Cordiner, Alexander Nasmyth and Alexander Carse, as well as less familiar works, chosen for what they reveal rather than who composed them. These images capture a nation in the course of change – under attack, under military occupation, subjected to ‘Improvement’ and then to industrialisation – all in the space of a few generations in which it was transformed from a largely rural society into one of the most urbanised countries in Europe.
The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland gratefully acknowledges funding towards the publication of this volume from Aberbrothock Skea Trust, the Binks Trust, Brewin Dolphin, the Hugh Fraser Foundation, Historic Scotland, the Lethendy Charitable Trust, the Misses Barrie Charitable Trust and the Strathmartine Trust.
Ranald McInnes – :
This is a superb book that will become a research standard for many years to come for its architectural, artistic, historical, and social context. It is particularly strong on the aspirations for urban space and its use in the growing towns. Painting the Town is a rare achievement: analytical, informative and thought-provoking, but also hugely entertaining.