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William Bell Scott was the son of the engraver Robert Scott and younger brother of the Scottish artist David Scott. Born in Edinburgh, he initially studied under his father before entering the Trustees’ Academy in 1831. He went to London in 1837 where he worked as an engraver and watercolourist. After unsuccessfully entering the Westminster Hall Competition, in 1843 he was appointed as master of the Government School of Design in Newcastle where he remained until 1863. While in Newcastle he executed produced a series of paintings depicting the History of Northumbria for the Inner Hall of Wallington Hall, the Northumberland seat of the Trevelyan family. He painted another series called “The King’s Quhair” for Alice Boyd of Penkill Castle, Ayrshire. Sadly this series has not survived the damp conditions of the walls. As a poet he came to the notice of Rossetti and Holman Hunt and at their invitation contributed poems to The Germ. One his return to London in 1858 he renewed his close friendship with Rossetti and other members of the Pre-Raphaelite circle and took a post teaching at the South Kensington Schools. As an artist-illustrator he was a great admirer of the work of Durer and Blake, writing on the former and publishing a compilation his etchings after drawings by the later. Scott exhibited at the Royal Academy, Royal Scottish Academy, British Institution, Royal Society of British Artists and elsewhere.

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