YOUNGSTERS yesterday (Thursday) got a sneak preview of one of Scotland’s most famous paintings before it goes on public display at Paisley Museum.
And their verdict was: “It’s stag-nificent!”
The pupils from Arkleston Primary, in Renfrew, were special guests at the launch of an exhibition of the painting The Monarch of the Glen (c.1851) by Sir Edwin Landseer.
The painting is an iconic image associated with Scotland and Paisley is only one of four venues in the country chosen by the National Galleries of Scotland for it to go on show.
People can view The Monarch of the Glen for free at Paisley Museum from tomorrow, Saturday, January 20 until March 11.
The painting was bought for the nation for £4 million from drinks giant Diageo last year, after a four-month fundraising campaign supported by the National Lottery, Art Fund, the Scottish Government, private trusts and public donations. Diageo had agreed to sell the famous painting for half the market value.
The image of a majestic red deer stag on a mist-covered Highland hilltop was painted in 1851 and has been used in modern times as an advertising tool on everything from beermats, biscuit tins to bottles of whisky.
Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, who operates Paisley Museum added: “Having this painting on view in Paisley is a huge coup for Renfrewshire and shows we are at the cultural centre of Scotland.
“Many people will have seen the image used in advertising, but may not have realised it is a painting by such a famous artist.
“I would encourage as many people as possible to come along to see the original version of The Monarch of the Glen and it certainly is, as the pupils have been telling me – stag-nificent!”
Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery said:
“We want this tour of The Monarch of the Glen to be seen as a huge thank you for the overwhelming support 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 many people will take the opportunity to come and admire this iconic and world-famous painting.”