About this artwork

This small oil on panel portrait was painted by Wilkie when he visited Sir Walter Scott and his family at Abbotsford in 1817. It shows Scott seated at the centre and gazing upwards, as though about to recount a story to the friends and family that surround him. Displaying, as Wilkie commented at the time, ‘much good humour and merriment’, the group includes, from left to right: Scott’s wife Lady Charlotte and their two daughters Anne and Sophia, dressed in the fictive guise of country milkmaids; the couple’s youngest son Charles; Scott’s close friend and colleague Sir Adam Ferguson, later to be appointed Keeper of the Scottish Regalia; and, to the rear, the shepherd Thomas Scott and Scott’s eldest son Walter. Also featured are Scott’s beloved deerhound Maida (to the left) and highland terrier Ourisk (to the right). The landscape background recalls the Tweed Valley, with a distant view of Melrose.

Sir David Wilkie

Sir David Wilkie