chapter  5
33 Pages

Sir Walter Scott

Reworking the Gothic portrait
WithJoe Bray

This chapter explains the fiction of Sir Walter Scott, whose active interest in painting and portraiture runs throughout his novelistic career. Scott's detailed investigation of the debates surrounding the portrait goes to the heart of his complex engagement with the Gothic and the romance genre. Scott refers here to one of his favourite painters, Sir David Wilkie, as described in The Bride of Lammermoor as the Scottish Teniers' and in his Journal as the far more than Teniers of Scotland'. He was a regular visitor to the annual exhibition at the Royal Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts in Edinburgh, writing for example on 9 February 1826: Visited the Exhibition on my way home from the Court. Some entries in the Journal also evidence Scott's belief in the inextricability of the visual arts from those in which he has more professional experience.