Published: 05/10/2017 14:51 - Updated: 05/10/2017 15:07

The Monarch of the Glen arrives in its native Highlands

 

The Monarch of the Glen has arrived in Inverness
The Monarch of the Glen has arrived in Inverness

 

One of the most famous paintings in the world is returning to its native Highlands after being bought for the nation earlier this year.

Sir Edwin Landseer’s masterpiece Monarch of the Glen was painted in 1851 while the artist was resident at Glenfeshie by Kincraig.

It depicts a proud stag imperiously surveying a Highlands landscape and is recognised the world over as one of the images most closely associated with Scotland.

After a summer of attracting admiring crowds in Edinburgh, The Monarch of the Glen is going out on tour to four venues around Scotland, beginning with Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, from tomorrow.

It will be on show until November 18.

Sir John Leighton, Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland, said: "Thanks to the generosity of The National Lottery and the Scottish Government we are able to take this fantastic picture across the country to be enjoyed by as many people as possible.

"We want this tour of The Monarch of the Glen to be seen as a huge thank you for the overwhelming support that we received during the fundraising campaign and as a celebration that this amazing work of art now belongs to all the people of Scotland.

"We hope that it will be admired and debated by audiences across the country."

The Monarch of the Glen was originally intended as part of a series of three works to be displayed in the House of Lords, but the scheme was never realised and the painting was sold to a private collector soon after its completion.

From the moment it was first exhibited in 1851 at the Royal Academy in London it proved immensely popular, and that admiration has continued right up to the present day.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, added: "This tour is an exciting opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds across Scotland to access and enjoy this iconic painting in their own communities.

"I am confident this will further inspire many to seek out new opportunities to engage in culture and the arts.

"I am pleased the Scottish Government was able to support both the acquisition of the painting and its tour with a total of £175,000 funding and I look forward to seeing the Monarch of the Glen continue to attract visitors from far and wide in the years to come."

Ian Murray, Chief Executive of High Life Highland who manage and operate Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, commented: "We are very pleased to be working in partnership with the National Galleries of Scotland to support bringing this iconic painting to Inverness.

"The Monarch of the Glen is an immediately recognisable image to people in Scotland and across the world and we are delighted that residents and visitors to the Highlands have a chance to see the painting when it comes to Inverness this week."

The image was widely reproduced in the 19th Century, especially through steel engravings, and in 1916 it was purchased by Sir Thomas Dewar.

From that point it was regularly employed as a marketing image, first by Pears Soap and then by John Dewar & Sons Distillery and Glenfiddich. Subsequently it was also appropriated by Nestlé and Baxter’s Soup.

The painting will also be shown at Perth Museum and Art Gallery, Paisley Museum and Art Gallery and Kirkcudbright Galleries.

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