Art of Power: Masterpieces from the Bute Collection
31 March 2017 – 14 January 2018
This dual-venue show showcases art and artefacts from one of the foremost private collections in the world.
Simultaneously running at the Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow and Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute, the exhibition was conceived to celebrate the latter's tercentenary in 2017.
Mount Stuart – built in 1879 – was the unique neo-Gothic vision of the 3rd Marquess of Bute and his architect Robert Rowand Anderson. It was the first house in Scotland to boast electric lighting, central heating, telephones or a passenger lift, not to mention the world's first heated indoor pool.
The property is also home to the Bute Collection, which was largely formed by the 3rd earl of Bute, John Stuart, during the 1770s. Stuart was the first ever Scottish-born prime minister and a favourite of George III, best known for his scandalous political life, but also an important and influential patron of the arts.
His collection includes works by Dutch Golden Age masters Jan Steen and Jacob van Ruisdael, important portraits by Anthony van Dyck, Joshua Reynolds and Allan Ramsay and history subjects by Claude Lorrain and Veronese.
Highlights are shown across each of the two venues, while at Mount Stuart the paintings are joined by historical artefacts, including items of costume, jewellery, letters, botanical illustrations and satirical engravings.