Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850 - 1894. Essayist, poet and novelist

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Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850 - 1894. Essayist, poet and novelist
Stevenson apparently remarked to Nerli: “The oil represents me as I am, the pastel as I would like to be”. It could be said, therefore, that Stevenson might have preferred this portrait to the oil painting by Nerli which is in the National Galleries of Scotland Collections. The oil painting was painted during Nerli’s thirteen week stay in Samoa, however it has been suggested that this pastel was not executed in Samoa but rather it was painted later using a photograph from 1893. Nerli and Stevenson had a lot in common. Both loved to travel and were foreigners away from home; both had dominant fathers; both realised the Bohemian lifestyle; both were, to a considerable extent, innovative artists. However, Stevenson went on to become one of the most celebrated writers of his generation while Nerli was almost forgotten in his own lifetime.

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A drawing material made from ground pigment bound with enough gum or resin to hold it together in a stick, often smudged on paper to produce soft, atmospheric effects.



  • Acc. No. PG 1361
  • Medium Pastel on paper
  • Size 29.20 x 21.00 cm (framed: 43.00 x 35.00 x 4.00 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1938