Save paint­ing for Scot­land

The Oban Times - - DISTRICTS - Iain Thorn­ber iain.thorn­ber@bt­in­ter­net.com

IT IS dis­ap­point­ing to dis­cover that af­ter many years of us­ing it to pro­mote their busi­ness, Di­a­geo, the spir­its gi­ant, is putting Land­seer’s paint­ing, The Monarch

of the Glen, on the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket be­cause it no longer fits with their brands.

This world fa­mous work is syn­ony­mous with Scot­land and the whisky trade – it should not be sold by auc­tion.

If all whisky lovers threat­ened to stop drink­ing the stuff for a day in protest, it might help.

If Di­a­geo can’t or won’t gift the paint­ing to a Scot­tish art gallery with­out cost, Fiona Hys­lop, Holy­rood’s cabi­net sec­re­tary for cul­ture and the arts, should stop the sale and launch a pub­lic ap­peal to save it for the na­tion. If Land­seer had been a Scots­man and painted Wil­liam Wal­lace hurl­ing abuse at the English on the field of Ban­nock­burn, per­haps the sit­u­a­tion might have been dif­fer­ent. Sir Ed­win Land­seer (1802-1873) was well known for his paint­ings of an­i­mals, par­tic­u­larly horses, dogs and stags. Af­ter The Monarch of the

Glen, his best known works are the lion sculp­tures in Trafal­gar Square. Land­seer spent many days study­ing deer in the High­lands. He of­ten stayed at Glen­quoich in West In­ver­ness-shire where he used its hills as a back­drop in this king of paint­ings.

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