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Traces of a distinctive, and often sentimentalised, Scottish life were shown in innumerable paintings from the late eighteenth century onwards. One of the most conspicuous survivals of ‘old’ Scotland was music played on bagpipes, fiddles and harps.

Paintings like this contributed to the evolving nineteenth-century nostalgia for traditional ways of life, being transformed and lost with urbanisation and industrialisation. Such ‘real life’ paintings can be found in all the nations of Britain throughout the nineteenth century.

September 2004