John Kay

Illustrator

Although John Kay (1742–1826) served his apprenticeship as a barber and followed this profession for many years in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, his consuming passion was observing and drawing the world around him. In 1785 he gave up his barber shop in Parliament Square to become a full-time sketcher and painter of miniatures, producing an estimated 900 portraits and caricatures over a long and prolific career.

Although John Kay (1742–1826) served his apprenticeship as a barber and followed this profession for many years in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, his consuming passion was observing and drawing the world around him. In 1785 he gave up his barber shop in Parliament Square to become a full-time sketcher and painter of miniatures, producing an estimated 900 portraits and caricatures over a long and prolific career.

Books

  • Hardback | Pub: 09 Jan 2008
    £200.00

    Birlinn’s Limited Editions imprint celebrates the extraordinary work of John Kay with a magnificent, beautifully bound two-volume edition of Kay’s portraits and caricatures, originally published in Edinburgh in 1837-8. Alan Bell, social...