This limited edition print of Melville street, Edinburgh is dominated by the distinctive outline of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral. Its central spire of 270 feet punctuates the skyline of this street scene of Edinburgh’s New Town.
The figures, each one preoccupied with their own tasks, are an integral part of this watercolour. One can see different aspects of city life being played out through these people. The young woman in the foreground is fumbling about in her bag for something. The office worker is barely breaking his stride to post something in a hurry. An older man is clearly feeling the strain of carrying heavy shopping bags. This is in contrast to the pace of the other gentleman who has overtaken him. His only burden is his jacket thrown casually over his shoulder. Further down the street, another man is resting against a lamppost, possibly waiting for somebody.
As I look at this painting of Edinburgh, it reminds me of the study notes of Proverbs Chapter 1 verses 20-21. In the NIV version of the Bible, wisdom speaks out through the centre of life in the city. Cities are where man’s communal experience of the creation order is concentrated. In chapter 8 of Proverbs, you can see how wisdom has been personified. Wisdom was with God at the beginning of creation.