David Allan

1744 - 1796

Artist and portrait painter. Born in Alloa, the son of a shore-master, Allan studied at Robert Foulis' (1707-76) Art Academy in Glasgow and then in Rome. He spent time in London before settling in Edinburgh in 1780, becoming Director of the Edinburgh Academy of Arts (1786). In addition to his portraits, Allan provided illustrations for Allan Ramsay's (1686 - 1758) The Gentle Shepherd and for some of the poems of Robert Burns (1759-96), including engravings of 'Tam o' Shanter' and 'The Cotter's Saturday Night'. He was also noted as a painter of Scottish subjects, including works such as Highland Dance. He died in Edinburgh, where he lies buried in Old Calton Cemetery. He is remembered by david Allan Drive in Alloa, and his works are held by the likes of the National Gallery of Scotland, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, the National Trust for Scotland in Alloa Tower, Clackmannanshire Council Museum and Heritage Service and the City Art Centre in Edinburgh.

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