William Scott was born in Greenock, Scotland, in 1913. In 1924, his family moved to his father’s home town of Enniskillen in Northern Ireland where Scott soon began art classes with a local teacher, Kathleen Bridle. In 1928 he enrolled at the Belfast School of Art, moving to London three years later to take up a place at the Royal Academy Schools, initially in the sculpture department, later moving to painting. He married fellow student Mary Lucas in May 1937.In 1972, the Tate Gallery mounted a major retrospective which included more than 125 paintings dating from 1938 onwards. The following year Scott toured India, Australia and Mexico as a British Council lecturer. He received honorary doctorates from the Royal College of Art in London, Queen's University Belfast and Trinity College Dublin. In 1984 Scott was elected a Royal Academician.