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Christopher Rutterford's Jacobite Stramash* - at that Gate!

Tale of Two Artworks @ Netherbow Port/ Gate!

When the Prestonpans Tapestry goes on display at the StoryTelling Centre on the Royal Mile from February 12th/ 19th the venue is literally on the site where the Highlanders triumphantly took Edinburgh on September 17th without a shot being fired.

The Tapestry depicts the scene below as stitched by Maeve Greer [#52]:

... but there's been another artist at work ... Christopher Rutterford as well ... who needs to be seen ...

... it's described as 'an enigmatic piece which the artist has dubbed 'Jacobite Stramash*'. It colourfully depicts imagined revelry amongst the soldiers just before daybreak after Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army took Edinburgh through the Netherbow Gate that used to divide the High Street from the Canongate'. Christopher is delighted to be displaying his image at such an apt time and place in the Centre as he explains:

“The painting is set right outside the front door of the Storytelling Centre so it really is a match made in heaven. Though Charlie won the battle of Prestonpans a few days later I think this was his greatest moment. It was done without bloodshed and the army paid for its drink. The painting is a historical imagining of a celebrating army some two hundred and sixty five years ago. It looks like a battle but it’s actually a rammy – Charlie might be posturing on his horse or it may be out of control - you decide.”

* A stramash is a chiefly Scottish word for a disturbance or racket. It is pronounced /strəˈmæʃ/ and was first recorded 58 years after the Highlanders' entry on September 17th 1745 - in 1803.

Ed. ... to be churlish perhaps ...the Prince was at Gray's Mill on the Waters of Leith, nowhere near the Netherbow Port at dawn, nor is there any evidence of any drunken revelry by the Highlanders under Cameron of Lochiel's command or that the sun rose in the west that morning. The Prince actually arrived at 10 am going straight to the Palace of Holyroodhouse via King's Park. Celebrations took place somewhat later that day, at noon, after the Proclamation of King James VIII and III at the Mercat Cross!

Published Date: February 6th 2011

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