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Canongate Kirk

© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture

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John Guthrie Spence Smith has depicted the south front of the Canongate Church in the Canongate, Edinburgh. This church was designed by James Smith as a new home for the parish church which had been displaced from Holyrood Abbey in 1687 when James VII decided to convert the nave of Holyrood Abbey into a Chapel for the Order of the Thistle. Canongate Church was opened in 1691. The artist has clearly depicted the shaped gable and Roman Doric portico. The two round-arched windows beneath the circular window can also be seen as can the suggestion of the carved royal arms of William III above the circular window. Curiously the artist has included a tall obelisk style monument in the foreground left that is no longer in situ.

Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture





oil on plyboard


H 72.9 x W 76.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Diploma Work deposit, 1940

Work type


Inscription description

Spence Smith


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Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture

The Mound, Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH2 2EL Scotland

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