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'Burns and the Vision' by James Christie

Introduction:
Although not generally well known, this portrait of Burns by the painter, James Christie (1847-1914) is inspired by Burns' poem 'The Vision'. A young Robert Burns weary from a hard day's work on the farm at Mossgiel, finds himself transfixed by his poetic muse, Coila. The artist directs the gaze of the viewer first of all to the relaxed, reclining figure of the poet and then to a ghost-like vision of Coila above his head. One can imagine the need for inspiration as Burns juggled the twin necessities of making a living in the fields and expressing his thoughts in verse. Thankfully, in what is a highly romantic yet revealing poem, Coila persuades Burns to reverse his thoughts of becoming 'rhyme-proof'. However, he would never escape the need to earn a living outwith the writing of poetry.
Image Rights Holder:
National Burns Collection
Ref:
burns3
Project:
964:0
What:
Painting
Who:
James Christie (artist)
Robert Burns (1759 - 1796) (poet)
James Christie (artist)
When:
Where:
Irvine Burns Club, North Ayrshire
Description:
'Burns and the Vision' is held in the collection of Irvine Burns Club. Burns came to Irvine in 1781 to learn the craft of flax dressing. Today, the town's Burns Club - founded in 1826 and one of the world's oldest - has one of Scotland's most significant Burns treasure troves.