Sir Edwin Landseer ‘The Monarch of the Glen’ (c. 1851) at National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, was announced today as winner of the Art Fund Work of 2017. The painting was voted the nation’s favourite acquisition of the year from a list of 10 highlighted works of art that Art Fund has helped UK museums to buy in 2017. 8,000 members of the public voted.
Sir Edwin Landseer’s ‘The Monarch of the Glen’ is one of the most famous of all 19th century British paintings
The shortlist of works ranged from Sir Thomas Lawrence’s ‘Unfinished Portrait of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington’ at London’s National Portrait Gallery, Ben Johnson’s ‘Crescent Wing’ at Southampton City Art Gallery, The Watlington Hoard at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, Bernardo Bellotto’s ‘The Fortress of Königstein from the North’ at London’s National Gallery to Valerio Castello’s ‘Tobias Healing the Blind Tobit’ at Ferens Art Gallery in Hull, UK City of Culture 2017.
Renowned for his lion sculptures in Trafalgar Square, Sir Edwin Landseer’s ‘The Monarch of the Glen’ is one of the most famous of all 19th century British paintings and considered by many one of the most evocative symbols of Scotland’s highlands and wildlife. Landseer depicts a monumental and precisely defined ‘royal’ or twelve-point stag – a reference to the number of points on its antlers. The painting became widely known worldwide in the 20th century when it was widely employed as a marketing image for various products.
The painting was purchased by the National Galleries of Scotland as a part gift from Diageo Scotland Ltd, with contributions from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Dunard Fund, Art Fund, the William Jacob Bequest, the Tam O’ Shanter Trust, the Turtleton Trust, and the K. T. Wiedemann Foundation, Inc. and through a public appeal earlier in 2017.
Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. In the past five years alone Art Fund has given £34 million to help museums and galleries acquire works of art for their collections. It also helps museums share their collections with wider audiences by supporting a range of tours and exhibitions, and makes additional grants to support the training and professional development of curators. Art Fund is independently funded, with the core of its income provided by 123,000 members who receive the National Art Pass and enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions and subscription to Art Quarterly magazine. In addition to grant-giving, Art Fund’s support for museums includes Art Fund Museum of the Year (won by the The Hepworth Wakefield in 2017) and a range of digital platforms.
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