Gilmerton Lane Quarry near Edinburgh
Visitors such as John Stoddart saw Scotland as a terrain of enquiry and relied on its inhabitants to point them in interesting directions. It took “a painter’s eye” (that of one of his ‘local’ contacts, a young Alexander Nasmyth) for him to see the charms of Gilmerton lime quarry. But once alerted to its delights, Stoddart noted its great “liveliness” and the “appearance of freshness, and spirit” of its workforce. Nasmyth’s drawing, executed several years after Stoddart’s visit, hints at the growing interactive nature of exchanges between travel writers and native artists in their joint quest for worthy subjects of interest.