The Romans cause a wall to be built

William Bell Scott


Wallington, Northumbria

Courtesy Wallington, the National Trust.

According to John Batchelor, Scott painted this part of the series at Wallington "very fast and with great enthusiasm, finishing it by June 1857." For the setting of this picture of the Roman occupation of Britain, he chose "Housesteads and the crag and loch beyond it" painted accurately enough that "any modern visitor to Housesteads and Craig Lough would recognise it. The painting of the landscape and sky is confident and spacious." Ruskin had recommended that painters of historical and religious subjects base the figures in their works on portraits of real people, and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood took this advice very much to heart, as we can see in works as different as Millais's Lorenzo and Isabella, Rossetti's The Girlhood of Mary Virgin, and all of Hunt's works throughout his career.