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Monuments and Memorials
Robert Burns
around the world.

Burns Statue Irvine

Burns Statue Irvine

Like London and Albany, Irvine was fortunate enough to receive its statue of Burns as the result of the generosity of one individual, John Spiers, a native of the town who had made a fortune in mercantile business in Glasgow.

The task of producing this splendid bronze was entrusted to James Pittendreigh Macgillivray (1856-1938), who has the unique distinction of being the only sculptor of Burns who was himself a poet.

Macgillivray hailed from Inverurie and received his artistic training in the studio of William Brodie. He moved to Edinburgh in 1894 and became one of the most fashionable sculptors of his time, and Sculptor Royal for Scotland.

His statue is one of the few which does not follow the Nasmyth portrait. Pinnington commented Equally self-contained and original is Mr Macgillivray's Burns at Irvine. The face and head are not slavishly copied from any misleading portrait, and the features are of a finer mould than the pen pictures ascribe to Burns. The figure is strong, in no sense fine, and there is no straining after grace, although the more prominent lines are all gracefully rhythmic in movement.

Four bronze panels adorn the red granite pedestal: a wreathed shield simply inscribed (front), the toil-worn cotter welcomed home by his wife (north), Burns and Highland Mary (west) and the muse of poetry crowning Burns with laurel (east).

A bronze reduction of this statue was presented to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in January 1935 and may be seen in the Laing Art Gallery. The figure, less than a metre high, was Macgillivray's original model for the Irvine statue and was originally displayed at the 1896 Exhibition.

A statue can also be found in Irvine at Eglinton Country Park.
This statue once stood on a cairn between the old bowling green and the rhododendron maze. In 2009, it was moved to the Eglinton Country Park Visitor's Centre.
Burns Statue Irvine

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