Sir William Allan

The Facade of Abbotsford, the Home of Sir Walter Scott, seen through the Entrance Gate. Study for the Engraving to Lockhart's 'Memoirs of the... (Dated 1832)

About this artwork

Walter Scott employed the architect William Atkinson (c.1773 - 1839) to build Abbotsford House in Roxburghshire. It was for Scott’s own pleasure and its strong theatrical elements provided a perfect setting for his collection of antiquities. Begun in 1816 and extended after 1822, Abbotsford started a trend for the 'castle-style' buildings of the Scottish Baronial Revival. It was built in two stages after a prolonged process of planning. It reflected Scott's passion for the medieval and had many medieval carvings and idiosyncratic features incorporated into the design. The main entrance was based on the entrance porch to Linlithgow Palace, the Gothic chimney piece in the entrance hall copied from stone seats at Melrose Abbey, and the hall's wood panelling came from Dunfermline Auld Kirk.

  • title: The Facade of Abbotsford, the Home of Sir Walter Scott, seen through the Entrance Gate. Study for the Engraving to Lockhart's 'Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott'
  • accession number: D 2701
  • artist: Sir William AllanScottish (1782 - 1850)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • subject: Walter Scott
  • medium: Watercolour
  • date created: Dated 1832
  • measurements: 24.60 x 19.90 cm
  • credit line: William Findlay Watson Bequest 1881
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Sir William Allan

Sir William Allan

Born in Edinburgh, Allan was apprenticed to a coach painter before studying at the Trustees' Academy in the city from 1799; David Wilkie was a fellow student and became a lifelong friend. Allan went to London in 1803 to continue his studies, possibly at the Royal Academy. In 1805 he went to Russia, where he was based until 1814, travelling widely in the region. On his return, he settled in Edinburgh where he painted scenes inspired by his travels as well as subjects from Scottish history and Sir Walter Scott's novels. He was appointed Master of the Trustees' Academy in 1826, elected President of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1838 and became the Queen's Limner for Scotland in 1841, the year he was knighted.