Oil paint on canvas portrait of Sir William Arrol by an unknown artist (c.1900)

SKU: 2012/001 Categories: ,


Oil paint on canvas portrait of Sir William Arrol (artist unknown) in an ornamental gilded wood gesso/composition frame (c.1900).

Sir William Arrol (1839-1913) was a bridge builder. His most notable constructions include the Tay Bridge, the Forth Bridge and Tower Bridge in London. The artist is anonymous. Donated to the Museum when the Forth Bridges Visitor Centre Trust was wound up in 2012. A spare plaque for this portrait is held in the Store (Shelf A1).

A conservation report was prepared by Ines Santy ACR a Paintings Conservator in February 2012. The report recommended a number of treatments to the painting and frame (including glazing). This work was carried out. A copy of this report is held by the museum.

Sir William Arrol was the contractor for the steelworks in the construction of Tower Bridge, London. A high resolution image of this portrait is currently being used as a backdrop at the Tower Bridge Exhibition, together with images of the bridge designer Sir Horace Jones, his successor John Wolfe Barry, and lead mechanical engineer Sir William Armstrong.

Additional information

Acquisition Number


Item Type

Short Description

Portrait in oils

Manufactured by

Date of Manufacture

c. 1900



Supporting Items

Brass plaque. Spare brass plaque (Store Shelf A1)

Makers Number



Inscription on back of frame "No 399 x 1 slip"

Dimensions (mm)

Portrait: 860 x 666. Frame: 1095 x 894.


Date Donated

June 2012


Wood, glass, canvas and oil paints



Display Location