Sunday 20th November 2016
LAST MINUTE WITHDRAWAL MEANS A NATIONAL TREASURE IS SAVED FOR PROSPERITY
One of Scotland’s most treasured paintings could be saved for the nation after its owners withdrew it from auction after reaching a surprise deal with the National Galleries of Scotland.
The Monarch of the Glen is one of the most famous oil paintings of the 19th century with its depiction of a stag surveying the rugged landscape encapsulating the grandeur of the Highlands.
Painted by Sir Edward Landseer in 1851,the work was due to be sold at Christie’s next month for an estimated £10 million.
Owned by Diageo the drinks company, it had been feared that the painting could be sold abroad after it was offered to the public for the first time in a century. But, at the last minute, in a deal with the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS), the company agreed to accept £4 million for the work. The NGS now has four months to raise the money and bring the painting into public hands for the first time
Sir John Leighton, director-general of NGS. said, “We are delighted with this grand gesture by Diageo which offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for this major work to be acquired for the nation. The ideal home for such an important and resonant picture is the Scottish National Gallery.
Scotland’s culture minister, Fiona Hyslop, added: “Recent reaction to news of its auction underlined the importance of this painting and I’m pleased the National Galleries and Diageo have agreed a plan to ensure its long association with Scotland can continue.”
Claire Moore BA(Hons)