Bede finishes his Works and Life (One of a series of eight oil paintings illustrating the history of the English Border)

William Bell Scott (Edinburgh 1811 - Penkill Castle 1890)
National Trust Inventory Number 584368

Category Art / Oil paintings
Date 1857 (signed and dated)
Materials Oil on canvas
Measurements 1854 x 1854 mm (73 x 73 in)
Place of origin Wallington
Collection Wallington, Northumberland (Accredited Museum)
On show at Wallington, Northumberland, Yorkshire and North East, National Trust

Summary description

Oil painting on canvas, Bede finishes his Works and Life, by William Bell Scott (Edinburgh 1811 - Penkill Castle 1890), signed and dated, on lectern: W B Scott June to Dec 1857, and again, on base of shelves at left: W.B. Scott. The dying saint is represented on the floor of his cell, his head supported by the affectionate younger monks as he continues to dictate his translation of the Gospel of St John. In the background the monks assemble in the church to say the prayer for the passing sole. One of a series of eight oil paintings illustrating the history of the English Border painted between 1856 and 1861.


William Bell Scott was commissioned in 1855 by Sir Walter Trevelyan to decorate the courtyard at Wallington; began in 1857 and the series was exhibited at regular intervals at the Literary Society in Newcastle and completed in 1861 - the scheme of decoration was finished in 1863/64 when the spandrels high up near the vault were decorated with a progression of eighteen scenes from the Ballad of Chevy Chase, and the lower pilasters painted with local flora by other artists including Ruskin, Arthur Hughes, Lady Trevelyan, as well as the portrait medallions, in the lower spandrels and portrait heads.

Credit line

Wallington, The Trevelyan Collection (National Trust)

Marks and inscriptions

W B Scott Jan to June 1857 (signed and dated)

Makers and roles

William Bell Scott (Edinburgh 1811 - Penkill Castle 1890), artist

Related items

Place of origin Wallington (20)
Materials Canvas (6763)
Oil paint (5441)
Category Art / Oil paintings (8381)
Collection Wallington, Northumberland (Accredited Museum) (7072)
Periods 19th century (87156)
Maker William Bell Scott (Edinburgh 1811 - Penkill Castle 1890) (24)
Subjects The Venerable Saint Bede (c.673-735 (1)
History (129)
Object Type Oil painting (9717)

Record Status


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