British poet and artist
Born 1811 Died 1890
William Bell Scott, son of Robert Scott (1777-1841), the engraver, and brother of David Scott, the painter, was born in Edinburgh on the 12th of September 1811. While a young man he studied art and assisted his father, and he published verses in the Scottish magazines. In 1837 he went to London, where he became sufficiently well known as an artist to be appointed in 1844 master of the government school of design at Newcastle-on-Tyne. He held the post for twenty years, and did good work in organizing art-teaching and examining under the Science and Art Department. He did much fine decorative work, too, on his own account, notably at Wallington Hall, in the shape of eight large pictures illustrating Border history, with life-size figures, supplemented by eighteen pictures illustrating the ballad of Chevy Chase in the spandrels of the arches of the hall. For Penhill Castle, Perthshire, he executed a similar series, illustrating The King's Quhair. After 1870 he was much in London, where he bought a house in Chelsea, and he was an intimate friend of Rossetti and in high repute as an artist and an author.
His poetry, which he published at intervals (notably Poems, 1875, illustrated by etchings by himself and Alma-Tadema), recalled Blake and Shelley, and was considerably influenced by Rossetti; he also wrote several volumes of artistic and literary criticism, and edited Keats, L.E.L., Byron, Coleridge, Shelley, Shakespeare and Scott. He resigned his appointment under the Science and Art Department in 1885, and from then till his death (22nd November 1890) he was mainly occupied in writing his reminiscences, which were published posthumously in 1892, with a memoir by Professor Minto. It is for his connection with Rossetti's circle that Bell Scott will be chiefly remembered.
Being the entry for SCOTT, WILLIAM BELL in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.