Monarch of the Glen painting by Sir Edwin Landseer secured for the nation. Press release Friday 17th March 2017





The National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) is delighted to announce that The Monarch of the Glen by Sir Edwin Landseer (1802-73) has been acquired for the nation. The acquisition has been made possible thanks to overwhelming support from the public, from The National Lottery, Art Fund, private trusts and foundations, Scottish Government acquisition grant funding and by a part gift by previous owners Diageo Scotland Ltd. 

The National Lottery and Scottish Government have also given funding to enable the painting to go on tour across Scotland.

Sir John Leighton, Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland said:

We are thrilled that we have been able to secure this iconic work for the national collection. The enormous support from the public has been incredible with donations coming from all over the world and from the length and breadth of Scotland and the rest of the UK. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated. Your gift has helped to ensure that this magnificent work will be enjoyed by millions of people for generations to come.

Dame Seona Reid, Heritage Lottery Fund Trustee and Chair of HLF’s Scotland Committee, said: 

“Landseer’s Monarch of the Glen portrays a quintessentially Scottish scene but has a global reach.  With the help of National Lottery players from across the UK, we are pleased to play a major role in securing it a permanent home at the National Galleries of Scotland. 

“The public’s affection for Monarch of the Glen has been reflected in the success of the recent fundraising campaign. Everyone involved should feel proud of the role they are playing in safeguarding and sharing this fine and popular painting.”

Dr Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund director, said:

“Many congratulations to the National Galleries Scotland for successfully securing this truly iconic painting.  The success of the public appeal is proof of its contemporary appeal, and its acquisition by the Galleries will open up many new opportunities for its display, interpretation and enjoyment by a wide public.  We're very pleased to have played a part in securing this important work for Scotland. Many thanks to our members across the U.K. for their magnificent, ongoing support."

David Cutter, Diageo’s senior director in Scotland and President of Global Supply & Procurement, said:

“We are very happy to have partnered with the National Galleries of Scotland and to see the positive outcome of that with the Monarch of the Glen passing into permanent public ownership in Scotland for the first time in its history.”

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said:

I am delighted that National Galleries Scotland has secured the funding required to ensure the iconic Monarch of the Glen can remain on permanent public display in Scotland.

“The overwhelmingly positive response to the public fundraising campaign underlines the importance of the painting to people in Scotland and around the world. I am pleased the Scottish Government was able to provide £100,000 towards its acquisition and a further £75,000 for a tour that will enable communities across Scotland to see it. I look forward to seeing the Monarch of the Glen continue to attract visitors from far and wide in the years to come.

It was announced in November last year that NGS had entered into a partnership agreement with Diageo. Under the arrangement, Diageo agreed to gift half the estimated market value of the painting to allow NGS the opportunity to acquire the work for £4 million. After securing support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Art Fund, NGS launched a public fundraising campaign last month to help raise the final amount. Support for the public campaign has come from around the world with donations received from Anchorage, Queensland, Los Angeles and Hong Kong and from across the UK from Thurso to Bath totalling over a quarter of a million pounds. An additional £100,000 from the NGS acquisition fund from Scottish Government and donations from private trusts and foundations enabled the £4 million target to be reached. The painting will initially be hung in the Scottish National Gallery; plans will now be developed for a tour to a number of venues across Scotland, starting later this year. Further details of this tour will be announced in due course.

The Monarch of the Glen has had an iconic status since it was painted in the mid-nineteenth century. Whenever it has been exhibited it has attracted many admirers; it has also been known through numerous reproductions, at first in the form of engravings and later as a potent marketing image on products ranging from whisky to shortbread. This has resulted in the image being transformed into one of global recognition, which for many encapsulates the romance of Scotland’s natural wonders. The picture has also been interpreted in different ways, being employed to support changing and sometimes conflicting interpretations of Scottish culture and history.

Now in public ownership, the painting is set to become one of the key attractions at the Scottish National Gallery.

Press release courtesy of National Galleries of Scotland


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