William Bell Scott

(1811-1890 / Scotland)

William Bell Scott
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William Bell Scott (12 September 1811 – 22 November 1890), British poet and artist, son of Robert Scott (1777-1841), the engraver, and brother of David Scott, the painter, was born in Edinburgh.

While a young man he studied art and assisted his father, and he published verses in the Scottish magazines. In 1837 he went to London, where he became sufficiently well known as an artist to be appointed in 1844 master of the government school of design at Newcastle-on-Tyne. He held the post for twenty years, and did good work in organizing art-teaching and examining under the Science and Art Department.

He did much fine decorative work, too, on his own account, notably at ... more »

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Best Poem of William Bell Scott

Art For Art’s Sake

‘Art for art's sake,’—very well,
Your picture you don't care to sell?
Yes, yes, I do, and thus I try
To paint so bright they want to buy—
‘Art for art's sake,’—then I fear
You want no sympathetic tear
From the stalls and boxes here?
Yes, yes, I do, I write it so,
A hundred nights the crowds shall go—
‘Art for art's sake,’—Heavens! once more,
You'd say again things said before?
And pray, why not? I wish I could
Stand as Shakespeare, Fletcher, stood—
Nay, dear aspirant, rather write
As Shakespeare were he here to-night;
That would be far more worth ...

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