Glasgow Boy masterpiece bought for Scotland

  • 19 November 2012

In The Orchard, a masterpiece by 'Glasgow Boy' Sir James Guthrie, has been bought for Glasgow City Council and the National Galleries of Scotland with help from the Art Fund.

Sir James Guthrie, In The Orchard, 1885-6

Sir James Guthrie, In The Orchard, 1885-6

The painting features two children in a rural scene, and is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest paintings of the Glasgow Boys movement – a group of Scottish painters whose work had a huge impact on the development of British modern art.

The unprecedented partnership of Glasgow City Council and the National Galleries of Scotland bought the work for £637,500 from an auction at Sotheby's in London. The purchase was made possible by grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund, who gave £423,358 and £62,983 respectively.

John Leighton, director general of the NGS, said: "Guthrie's In the Orchard is a key masterpiece in the story of Scottish art and, at a time when funding is obviously very scarce, it is entirely fitting NGS and Glasgow City Council should join forces to acquire this iconic work for the public.

"We are immensely grateful to the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund for their rapid and very generous support, which has allowed us to move quickly to secure this extremely important work at auction."

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