William Bell Scott Alice Boyd, 1825 - 1896 July 1861

Biography

Alice Boyd was a painter, illustrator and the 14th Laird of Penkill Castle in Ayrshire, south-west Scotland. Descended from the Scottish nobility and a family of wealthy English industrialists, she shared her artistic talent with her cousin Sarah Losh (1785-1853), the architect of St Mary’s Church, Wreay, Cumbria. Boyd decided to devote herself to art following her mother’s death in 1858, and took lessons from William Bell Scott (1811-1890), an Edinburgh-born artist and member of the Pre-Raphaelite circle. She and Scott became long-term partners – a situation that was accepted by his wife, Letitia Scott (née Norquoy, 1813-1898) – and they collaborated on mural decorations on the walls and ceilings of Penkill Castle, as well as stained-glass windows for the South Kensington (now V&A Museum, London). Boyd exhibited paintings in oil and watercolour of landscapes and scenes of history and mythology, such as The Incantation of Hervor (1864), Taliesson, the Bard (1873) and A Scottish Glen (1880), at the Royal Academy, Royal Scottish Academy and Society of Women Artists. She was commissioned to produce illustrations to Sing Song (1872) by her friend Christina Rossetti (1830-1894), although these were never published, and designed a children’s book, Robin’s Christmas Song (1874).