Dundee's 'Eastern Prince' will return home

  • 13 October 2006

The Art Fund has helped the McManus Galleries & Museum in Dundee to make its most expensive ever purchase - an early painting by Scottish master Sir Henry Raeburn, of Dundee's 'Eastern Prince' George Paterson.

After months of fundraising Raeburn's Portrait of Mr George Paterson of Castle Huntly, Perthshire (c 1790) was secured by Private Treaty sale for £131,581, with the help of a substantial £48,000 grant from The Art Fund. Additional funding came from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

As the McManus Galleries are closed for refurbishment until 2007, the portrait will be temporarily displayed at the National Gallery of Scotland.

George Paterson (1734-1817) was born in Dundee but made his fortune in India. The son of a weaver, Paterson was schooled in Dundee before studying medicine in Edinburgh. After rising through the ranks of the British army Paterson was posted in India, where he assisted with an investigation into the relations between the servants of the East India Company and the Nawab of Arcot.  Paterson recorded his meticulous observations of Indian life in an intriguing personal diary, three-quarters of a million words long, which is now housed in the British Library.

On his return to Scotland in 1776 Paterson became a member of the aristocracy through his marriage to the Honourable Anne Gray, daughter of the eleventh Baron Gray. In this superb portrait the unstoppable Scotsman is seated on a bank with his new home, the magnificent Castle Huntley in Perthshire, in the background. 

Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823) is one of Scotland’s finest portrait painters. He lived and worked in Scotland during the later years of the Enlightenment, painting prominent members of a society that was burgeoning with intellectual and creative fire. Raeburn was the first internationally acclaimed Scottish painter to base himself in his native country, and his fascinating body of work has become integral to our understanding of Scottish life and society from the 1780s to the early 1820s.

Related Links:

McManus Galleries & Museum

National Galleries of Scotland