Monarch of the Glen on view at Kirkcudbright

Monarch of the Glen by Sir Edwin Landseer.
Monarch of the Glen by Sir Edwin Landseer.

One of Scotland’s most famous images, The Monarch of the Glen, can be seen at Kirkcudbright Galleries.

Painted by Sir Edwin Landseer (1802-73), the picture was commissioned as part of a series of three panels to hang in the Palace of Westminster in London.

It was acquired for the nation in March after it was put up for sale for the first time in 100 years, by the international drinks company, Diageo Scotland Ltd.

After a four month fundraising campaign the purchase was made possible thanks to the enormous support from the public, The National Lottery, Art Fund, private trusts and foundations, the Scottish Government and by a part gift by Diageo, who agreed to gift half the estimated market value of the painting to allow NGS the opportunity to acquire the work for £4 million.

The National Lottery and Scottish Government also gave additional funds to enable the painting to go on tour in Scotland.

Through the widespread use of the painting in commercial advertising and in popular culture, the picture has become instantly recognisable yet it remains an extremely powerful work of art and a rich source of debate about issues of history and identity.

As well as visiting Kirkcudbright the painting will also tour three other venues as part of the National Galleries on-going commitment to sharing its collection and working in partnership with communities across Scotland.

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 wide audiences across the country.”

The Monarch of the Glen will be on show at Kirkcudbright Galleries until May 12, 2018.