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Sir William Quiller Orchardson

The Queen of the Swords

  • The Queen of the Swords
    Creative Commons CC by NC

About this artwork

This is a finished study for a larger picture of the same title. The subject is based on a scene from Sir Walter Scott's historical novel ‘The Pirate’. It shows the heroine Minna Troil passing proudly below an arch of blades during a sword dance, while the other girls shy away. Orchardson was one of Robert Scott Lauder's pupils who moved to London. During the first part of his career he painted rural subjects and a number of illustrations to Scott. Later in life he turned to Regency scenes and episodes from modern life. This painting is the last of his subjects from Scott. Clear outlines and draughtsmanship are always distinguishing features of Orchardson's style.

Updated before 2020

Sir William Quiller Orchardson (1832 - 1910) Scottish
The Queen of the Swords
About 1877
Oil on canvas
48.80 x 81.90 cm; Framed: 83.50 x 116.80 x 10.70 cm / 20.00 kg
Object type:
Credit line:
Purchased 1910
Accession number:
NG 1018
Scottish National Gallery (On Display)
Walter Scott

True colours

Sir William Quiller Orchardson