Sir John Steell was born in Aberdeen, and went on to become one of Scotland’s most significant nineteenth-century sculptors. In the 1840s he established a foundry in Edinburgh, and was awarded numerous commissions for statues and monuments in the city. From 1840-46 he carved the centerpiece sculpture for the Scott Monument, showing the famous writer with his dog Maida. Other notable statues include the massive figure of Queen Victoria on top of Edinburgh’s Royal Scottish Academy Building, and the bronze equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington at the east end of Princes Street. He achieved international fame during his lifetime, and lived in Edinburgh until his death in 1891.