Carrick's daughter Anne Scott told me that the sculptor her father admired above all others was Donatello. Carrick admired Medieval and Renaissance sculpture and Donatello was the artist who's work bridged these two traditions. There are similarities between Donatello's Saint George (above centre) and Carrick's original designs for The Wallace and Bruce and it seems likely that this was an influence in his approach to the commission. Due to the heated debate and widespread criticism which surrounded the commission Carrick abandoned his original design for a rather more radical design.
Above left and right are photographs of Carrick's original models supplied and reproduced by kind permission of John Scott. Copyright John Scott.
Anne Scott told me that on the night before the sketch models for the Reid Bequest competition were to be submitted and put on public display Carrick came home dejected. When his wife Janet asked what was wrong he told her that he had got the figures the wrong way round. The statue of Bruce was to stand in a niche on the left side of the Castle gateway, and Wallace on the right. Carrick had turned the heads of his figures to look down on visitors as they entered the castle, but placed this way round with Bruce in the left niche and Wallace in the right the figures would be looking away from the entrance, seemingly snubbing visitors! Janet grabbed their coats and the two went straight back to Carrick's studio were the couple worked through the night painstaikingly cutting the heads off the sketch models and swapping them around to face the correct way. Carrick's wife Janet Ferguson MacGregor, 'Jenny', was herself a painter and Anne told me that she was always 'an exacting critic' of her husbands work.