Edwin Landseer’s Monarch of the Glen was conceived as part of a series of paintings for the Refreshment Room in the House of Lords and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1851.

Landseer first visited Scotland in 1824. He subsequently returned each year and made many works on Scottish themes. The Monarch of the Glen shows a royal stag, distinguished by the 12 points on its antlers. Landseer’s virtuoso painting is particularly notable in the texture of the fur and the moisture around the nostrils. The painting was never hung in its intended setting but was instead sold to the 1st Baron Londesborough. It has remained in private or corporate collections ever since. In 1916 it was bought by Thomas Dewar and began to appear as a marketing image, first for Pears Soap and later for whisky, Nestlé and Baxters soup. The Monarch of the Glen will now be displayed as part of the outstanding collection at the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh.

Purchased by the National Galleries of Scotland as a part gift from Diageo Scotland Ltd, with contributions from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Dunard Fund, the Art Fund, the William Jacob Bequest, the Tam O’ Shanter Trust, the Turtleton Trust, and the K. T. Wiedemann Foundation, Inc. and through public appeal 2017.

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