Sir Francis Chantrey (1781-1841) originally sculpted the bust of Scottish author Sir Walter Scott (1771-1823) in 1820, prompting Scott's biographer and son-in-law J.G. Lockhart to comment: “Chantrey alone has in his bust attained that, in his case, most difficult task of portraying the features faithfully, and yet giving the real and transient expression of the countenance when animated." [John Gibson Lockhart, Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart., vol. 2 (Edinburgh: Robert Cadwell, 1837), 183.] It has since become one of the most quintessential images of the writer, frequently reproduced on medallions, in engravings and lithographs, and is known through numerous marble copies. Many of the marble copies were executed by Chantrey's assistants, as this one, made in the year of the sculptor's death, likely was.
Portrait Bust of Sir Walter Scott
Sir Francis Chantrey
31 x 21 1/2 x 11 inches (787 x 546 x 279 mm)
Inscribed and dated on stem at back of bust, "Sir Francis Chantrey / Sculptor. 1841".
Acquired by J. Pierpont Morgan before 1913.