It is ironic that the last portrait of the great Romantic writer Sir Walter Scott (1771-1852), was produced by Thorvaldsen, a Danish artist whose work epitomised the classical tradition to which Scott was so opposed.
Portrait bust of Sir Walter Scott by Bertel Thorvaldsen, 18321834
© Scottish National Portrait Gallery
- 56 cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £27,500 ( Total: £110,000)
- Acquired in:
- Todd Longstaffe-Gowan
The two met during Scott's trip to Italy in the last year of his life. The meeting was said to be emotional but,silent as they did not share a common language. It is not known who commissioned the bust nor, whether it was made while Scott was still alive or, from sketches made by the sculptor which resulted in a posthumous portrait. This work was acquired with assistance from the Wolfson Foundation.
Possibly the marble'Ritratto di Valdrescot' mentioned in the artist's account books; Captain Edward Cheney; his nephew Edward capel Cure; Christie's 4-5 May 1905, lot 230; with Agnew's; charles Fairfax Murray; Robert Fraser Gowan.