William Bell Scott

The Little Water-carrier

1863
The view – part imaginary, part observed – shows a well at Penkill Castle in Ayrshire, home of Alice Boyd, Scott’s mistress. Like many of his generation, Scott saw Nature as the foundation for Art, but the relationship between the two was complex. The banal subject is transformed by the artist’s personal vision: each blade of grass or branch noted with insistency, the colour exaggerated, the tone sentimental, not objective. The paint is handled with sensitivity, and the technique personal.
Title
The Little Water-carrier
Date
1863
Medium
Painting
Materials
oil on canvas
Dimensions
50.7 x 40.5 cm
Nationality
British
Credit line
Purchased 1965
Accession number
14828