Sir Walter Scott, 1st Bt

1 portrait by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Sir Walter Scott, 1st Bt

by Edwin Landseer
circa 1824
11 1/2 in. x 9 1/2 in. (292 mm x 241 mm)
NPG 391

Inscriptionback to top

Stamped: R DAVY/94 NEWMAN ST

This portraitback to top

Landseer was a frequent visitor to Abbotsford from 1824 onwards. 'He has painted every dog in the house' said Scott, 'and ended up with the owner'. The oil sketch is now usually ascribed to about 1824, Scott then aged 53. But the famous lint-white hair is no help and the date could be anywhere up to 1832 when Landseer made a number of pencil and ink sketches. Graves dates it to 1832, Kitton posthumously to 1834 when Landseer visited Abbotsford again to paint 'Scott in Rhymer's Glen' for Mr Wells of Redleaf, now in private collection, New York.
A watercolour miniature copy of the head by Jessica Landseer 1845 is Scottish NPG no.1379. NPG 391, one of Landseer's most perceptive portraits, is discussed with other portraits of Scott by Richard Ormond in Sir Edwin Landseer, 1981, pp 61-2.

Physical descriptionback to top

Half-length seated writing at a sloping desk in a green coat and buff waistcoat, paper, inkwell and Montrose's sword on the table; white hair, hazel eyes, rosy complexion; panelling and statue in background. Numerals scratched upside down lower right: 2/4 12.10 (R. Davy's price and size of panel).

Provenanceback to top

Landseer and his sale Christie's 8 May 1874 (312), bought Agnew for Albert Grant MP (Baron Grant) and given by him 12 May 1874.

Exhibitionsback to top

'Landseer,' RA, 1874 (457); 'Wordsworth', Kendal and Southampton, 1970 (53); 'British Romantic Painting', Paris, 1972 (152); 'Scenes on Sundays', NPG, 1972-3; 'Sir Edwin Landseer', Philadelphia and Tate Gallery, 1981-2 (21).

Reproductionsback to top

Apparently none, but mention of one by Charles Heath in Scott's Letters, XI, p 146.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

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