'The Mauchline Holy Fair'

Date:
1830 
Creator:
Alexander Carse, Artist 
Object Number:
3.8028

Summary

This painting depicts the scene from Burns's poem The Holy Fair written in 1785. It is a character study of the annual religious carnival prevalent at the time. Holy fairs were twice-yearly open-air events that aimed to prepare the righteous for Communion. The people in the centre of the painting are caught in a moral tug-of-war between the kirk (left) and the pub (right).

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