John Flaxman P.S.R.A. was commissioned in July 1824, 'to transmit the features of the poet to posterity as faithfully as possible' using a portrait from life by Alexander Naismyth, and an engraving done from it by Mr Beugo. He had been visited often by Burns while working on the plate and ' had opportunities of examining his manly expressive countenance when lighted up by conversation'. Flaxman died in December 1826, and the work was completed by his brother-in-law and pupil, Mr Denman. The statue used only half of the funds raised and it was decided to build a monumental structure to house the statue.
This statue was removed from the Burns Monument on Regent Road and is now on permanent loan to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Queen Street, Edinburgh. There is also a statue of Robert Burns in Bernard Street, Leith. Information and artefacts on the life of Burns can be found at The Writers' Museum, Lady Stair's Close, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PA (0131 529 4901).
Flaxman, of York produced this life size statue of Burns in white marble, modelled on Naismyth's portrait depicting the poet addressing his lines, ' to a mountain Daisy'. The poet is represented standing in front of a short tree trunk; his hands crossed in front, the right hand holding a bunch of daisies, and the left with a roll of papers. A plaid is wrapped around the body and falls from the left shoulder. He is wearing knee-breeches and low shoes. A broad bonnet with a thistle lies at his feet, beside a plough-share. In front, on the circular plinth, in incised letters is the following: 'ROBERT BURNS, BORN NEAR AYR, 25th January, 1759 DIED AT DUMFRIES, 21st July, 1796. 'The square pedestal has in front a bas-relief, representing The Muse crowning Burns, who is seated.