About this artwork

Known as ‘The Minstrel of the Scottish Border’, this full-length portrait shows Sir Walter Scott against a background of moorland, with two lively terriers at his feet. The landscape is that of the area surrounding his beloved Abbotsford home in the Scottish Borders, on the banks of the river Tweed. The peculiar pose and characteristic clothing appear in several other works by Allan, one of which is a quick sketch painted during a visit to Abbotsford in September 1831. The present portrait was painted some ten years after Scott’s death, and exhibited first in 1846. Throughout the nineteenth century, Walter Scott’s fame and influence were immense, with fellow authors in Europe and beyond classing him with Shakespeare, Cervantes and Chaucer as one of the great universal writers.

Sir William Allan

Sir William Allan