The 18th century Alloa born artist, David Allan was invited by John Murray, the 4th Duke of Atholl, to Blair Castle in Perthshire in 1780 to paint their family portrait.

Subsequently Murray became another patron as he was married to Jane Cathcart, daughter of Lord Cathcart of Schawpark. Allan also painted the Erskine family.

Later, however, Thomas Erskine disinherited one of his sons and he was painted out of the picture.

Allan also drew numerous local landmarks including Clackmannan Tower and panoramas of the banks of the Forth at Alloa.

On June 14, 1786, Allan was appointed Master of the Trustees Academy of Art in Edinburgh, a prestigious position.

His salary was £120 per annum and he was under contract to teach six hours a week and submit two works of art a year.

This allowed him to move house and open a studio where he taught students for one guinea per month.

Two years later, at the age of 44, Allan married Shirley Welsh with whom he had five children. Only two survived into adulthood. His eldest surviving son David lost his life at sea when he was a cadet.

For the next decade Allan turned more to common street scenes and characters, including many Edinburgh scenes of popular life.

These included Leith Races and Raising of the Volunteers. He also did engravings of Scottish historical characters. Among his later prints were Alloa dry dock in 1791 and Alloa Tower in 1793.

He illustrated the new edition of Allan Ramsay's 'The Gentle Shepherd' in 1788 where he painted 12 scenes from the play. In 1792-93, despite them never meeting, Allan collaborated with Robert Burns to produce illustrations for George Thomson's collection of Scottish poems and songs. Amongst these was an illustration for Burns' poem Cottar's Saturday Night where Allan depicted the cottar's eldest son as Burns himself.

Unfortunately, both Allan and Burns died within a few weeks of each other so the project was shelved until many years later.

Allan, had been suffering from ill health for some time. In 1795 he took the waters at Moffat to try and help him recover.

In the early months of 1796 his asthma worsened and he suffered dropsy therefore moved out from the city centre to the suburbs.

On August 6 that year David Allan died and was buried in Calton Cemetery in Edinburgh. His widow Shirley lived until 1821 and his surviving daughter Barbara lived until 1874.