James Skene

1775 - 1864

Paintings in Collections

Edinburgh City Libraries, in their Edinburgh Room, have over 200  watercolour views in and around Edinburgh by James Skene of Rubislaw.   I hope to add some of these to this site soon.

James Skene and Sir Walter Scott

James Skene came from Aberdeen to Edinburgh in 1785.  He became acquainted with Sir Walter Scott while both were young advocates studying law at Parliament House.

They shared an interest in horse riding, galloped together on Portobello Sands in the early mornings and in 1797 they formed the Royal Edinburgh Volunteer Light Dragoons.

Scott invited Skene to collaborate on a monthly publication  - an illustrated description of Edinburgh  -  to be called Reekiana.  Unfortunately this project did not proceed, following Scott's financial disaster, though Skene did produce many of the illustrations in watercolour [City Art Centre Exhibition: From Castle to Palace]  Are these, perhaps the watercolours that are now in the Edinburgh City Libraries' collection.

Acknowledgement to the anonymous note in the front of the "James Skene Visual Index" file for the above info.