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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Reid of Kirkennan, Alexander (1747 — 1823)

Second son of John Reid (1691-1764) of Kirkennan. He got his art-training probably in London and Paris. He did many paintings of people, places and scenes in Galloway and Dumfries. He had a studio in Dumfries, in which he did a miniature of Burns. Writing to Thomson, in a letter dated by Ferguson, May 1795, Burns described Reid's miniature: 'However there is an artist of very considerable merit, just now in this town, who has hit the most remarkable likeness of what I am at this moment, that I think ever was taken of anybody. It is a small miniature; and as it will be in your town getting itself becrystallised, & etc. I have some thoughts of suggesting to you, to prefix a vignette taken from it to my song, 'Contented wi' little and cantie wi' mair', in order that the portrait of my face and the picture of my mind may go down the stream of Time together.'

However, Burns changed his mind about the excellence of Reid's miniature, for he remarked in a letter to Maria Riddell, dated by Ferguson, spring 1795; 'The painter, in my opinion, has spoilt the likeness.'

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Complete Burns Songs

linn recordings of burns Linn Records have completed their landmark recording of all 368 Burns songs, available as individual CDs or a 12 volume presentation box set. We have full details. Click here...


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Burns Chess Sets

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