View and zoom into this image on our new collection website
Sir Walter Scott, 1771 - 1832. Novelist and poet 1831


  • Scottish Art
Sir Walter Scott was a renowned poet and novelist who achieved major success during his lifetime. His interest in writing historical novels, and particularly those with Scottish themes such as ‘Waverley’, has had a major influence on the perception of Scotland. Scott famously organised King George IV’s 1822 visit to Edinburgh which helped to re-brand Scotland’s image and led to a revival of tartan and kilts. This work was painted at Abbotsford, Scott’s home in the borders, for Lady Ruthven (1789-1895). It depicts him the year before his death. Following a number of strokes, Scott appears distinctly older and more fatigued than in earlier portraits. Seated in his study, he is almost certainly writing the fourth series of ‘Tales of my Landlord’.

Glossary Open


The printmaking technique in which an image is inscribed on a copper plate with a tool that cuts a groove in the surface. This groove holds the ink that creates the print when it is applied to paper. Also refers to the method of making an incision on a material such as glass.



  • Acc. No. PG 103
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 76.20 x 64.00 cm
  • Credit Bequeathed by Mary Hamilton Campbell, Lady Ruthven 1885