John Beugo after Alexander Runciman

‘Ossian’, frontispiece to The Poems of Ossian, in the Original Gaelic, with a Literal Translation into Latin, by the Late Robert McFarlan. Together with a Dissertation on the Authenticity of the Poems, by Sir John Sinclair, Esq., Vol. 1

John Beugo after Alexander Runciman, 'Ossian'

Between 1760, the date of Macpherson’s first Ossianic publication and 1832, numerous versions and translations of Ossian’s poems were published by other hands. This hallmark edition of the ‘Gaelic originals’ of Ossian (in fact translated back into Gaelic from Macpherson’s English) features an imagined portrait of Ossian after Alexander Runciman. A pioneer of the interplay between the Celtic and the classical that characterises artists’ responses to Ossian through Europe in the early 19th century, Runciman depicts the elderly blind warrior-bard as a Nordic Homer.