Sunday, February 22, 2009

William Bell Scott

[Industry on the Tyne: Iron and Coal]

[Dawn over the Sea]
William Bell Scott (1811 – 1890), British poet and artist, son of Robert Scott (1777-1841), the engraver, and brother of David Scott, the painter, was born in Edinburgh.

[Iron and Coal]
National Trust, Wallington, Northumberland
While a young man he studied art and assisted his father, and he published verses in the Scottish magazines. In 1837 he went to London, where he became sufficiently well known as an artist to be appointed in 1844 master of the government school of design at Newcastle-on-Tyne. He held the post for twenty years, and did good work in organizing art-teaching and examining under the Science and Art Department.
He did much fine decorative work, too, on his own account, notably at Wallington Hall, in the shape of eight large pictures illustrating Border history, with life-size figures, supplemented by eighteen pictures illustrating the ballad of Chevy Chase in the spandrels of the arches of the hall. For Penkill Castle, Ayrshire, he executed a similar series, illustrating James I's The Kingis Quair.
In Newcastle, Scott was visited by all the Rossetti family, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti painted Maria Leathart's portrait at Scott's house 14 St Thoms' Crescent.
Algernon Swinburne, who wrote two poems to Scott, spent much time with him in Newcastle after being sent down from Oxford.
After 1870 Scott was much in London, where he bought a house in Chelsea, and he was an intimate friend of Rossetti and in high repute as an artist and an author. He was, however, at daggers drawn with John Ruskin.

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