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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Alexander Mylne (1613–1643)

Sculptor about whom little is known, other than that he was the son of the architect John Mylne (d. 1657), the brother of the sculptor and Master Mason to the Crown, John Mylne Junior, and the father of Robert Mylne (1633–1710), who was also Master Mason to the Crown. The only extant works associated with him in Edinburgh are a sundial at the Palace of Holyroodhouse (c.1633), on which he may have collaborated with his father; carved figures of Justice and Mercy (1637), now inside Parliament House, Edinburgh, originally on the frontage, either side of a set of carved Royal Arms, over the entrance to the building’s west wing; and the arms of the City of Edinburgh (c.1640) in an ornamental pediment over the circular window on the north façade of the Tron Kirk. He died at the age of thirty, probably of the plague, and is buried in Holyrood Abbey, where the verse inscription on his gravestone includes the lines: ‘What Myron or Appelles could have done / In Brasse or Paintry hee could that in Stone’.

Bibliography: J. Gifford et al, Edinburgh, Harmondsworth, 1984, p. 147; W.T. Johnston, Dictionary of Scottish Artists (c.2000), Scottish National Library, ref CD-ROM.585; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, pp. 360–61, 457; R.S. Mylne, The Master Masons to the Crown of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1893, pp. 130–31, 305; F. Pearson (ed.), Virtue and Vision: Sculpture in Scotland, Edinburgh, 1991, pp. 28–29.

Ray McKenzie 2018