Painter, poet and writer on art. Bell was the seventh child of Robert Scott and Ross Bell (Scott). His four eldest brothers died in an 1807 epidemic. Bell himself was educated at the Trustees' Academy in Edinburgh, learning engraving, and publishing Views of Loch Katrine and Adjacent Scenery before he was twenty. Though he never attended college, Bell convinced the Board of Trade in 1837 to offer him the founding headmastership in the Government School of Design in London.