As a child, Robert Louis Stevenson frequently visited the manse in
Colinton, where his maternal grandfather, Dr Lewis Balfour, lived while
he was the Minister of the Parish Church. A bronze statue of Robert Louis
Stevenson as a boy with his skye terrier "Coolin" was unveiled
in the small garden just outside the
Colinton Parish Church gate on 26th October 2013. Its size has been
chosen to fit in with the surroundings. The designer is
of Endeavour Art Studios, near Howgate, Penicuik.
Planning permission was attained in July 2011 for the statue along
with the poetry plaques and public artwork at the Triangle.
The plans for the statue evolved from the sketch and the photomontage
Sketch of RLS as a boy,
Photomontage of one of the early designs to show
the approximate size and location of the statue
and in place
In spring 2013, the statue was progressing well. A
clay maquette, the stage before casting, was almost complete. The photo and
video clip below are from the beginning of June 2013.
During summer 2013, the statue of Robert Louis Stevenson as a boy, with dog
was cast in
bronze at Edinburgh's
Powderhall Bronze. Before installation, the last process to be done
was patination, the final chemical process to darken the bronze down to
the more familiar darker colour used for statues.
The the afternoon of Saturday 26th October 2013 was chosen for the
unveiling of the statue. We were very pleased when the author Ian Rankin
- a fan of the works of Robert Louis Stevenson agreed to do the
A few weeks before installation, the foundation was laid and allowed to
set. The statue was installed the day before the unveiling and was kept
under a tarpaulin overnight. A few hours before the unveiling the
tarpaulin was removed and replaced with a large cotton sheet with a
silhouette of RLS's face printed on it.
As the statue was a figure of RLS as a child, it was appropriate to
involve children from all of the local schools in the unveiling
ceremony, and after the formalities, the Colinton Village Events held a
Victorian games session for children to take part in.
A close inspection of this view of the statue shows him having two
books, one on his knee and the other in his pocket. This is explained in
his work Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson.
I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read,
one to write in.