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R.L.Stevenson, the Scottish writer and traveller, author of 'Treasure Island' and 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'. He suffered from tuberculosis, and in 1887-8 went to a clinic in America. Saint-Gaudens was then the leading American sculptor. He was an admirer of Stevenson's writing, and asked to make his portrait. Stevenson was too ill to leave his bed, but posed on cushions as if writing. Many copies were made of this relief. In some he holds a pen, and in others a cigarette. A poem from Stevenson's book of 1887 'Underwoods' is written on this cast. This portrait was given by Stevenson to his friend and editor Sidney Colvin, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

August 2004