The National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) has disputed claims that the iconic Monarch of the Glen stag was painted at a Buckinghamshire hotel.The 1851 painting by Sir Edwin Landseer was saved for the nation after a campaign to raise £4m in March. However, Stoke Park resort, which was once a stately home, said the artist often painted pictures of local deer there, including the Monarch stag. NGS said there was “no doubt” the painting was of a Highland setting.The oil painting, which is on tour around Scotland and is currently on show in Inverness, features a red deer stag at an unidentified location.It has been used by advertisers to sell soap and whisky and has become synonymous with a Victorian vision of Scotland.’English painter’Despite that, the National Galleries of Scotland acknowledged that the Monarch of the Glen was most likely painted at Sir Edwin’s studio in St John’s Wood in London, where he owned a menagerie of animals that included deer.However, a spokesman said the artist had visited Scotland numerous times to paint the country’s wildlife and scenery.It follows claims on the Stoke Park resort website that Sir Edwin often stayed at the Buckinghamshire property and created the iconic Scottish image while he was there.Nick Downie from Stoke Park told the BBC: “It is our understanding that Sir Edwin Landseer painted many deer paintings at Stoke Park, including Monarch of the Glen.”At the time Stoke Park had one of the UK’s most famous deer parks.”
A spokesman for the National Galleries of Scotland said: “Though we can’t be sure of the precise location, nobody is in any doubt that it depicts a Highland setting.”Landseer was indeed an English painter, but from 1824 he made annual trips to the Highlands and painted the magnificent wildlife and landscapes of the region.”The resulting paintings range from intimate and remarkably fresh studies painted on the spot, to his most famous large-scale picture, The Monarch of the Glen.”Landseer suggested its identity when he first exhibited the painting, by including in the accompanying catalogue lines from an anonymous poem called Legends of Glenorchay, which describes a stag named ‘The Monarch the Glen’ surveying the landscape around his ‘lair’ in the ‘wild Glen-Strae’.”When NGS began their fundraising campaign to buy the painting from drinks giant Diageo they received donations from as far afield as Los Angeles and Hong Kong.Public donations totalled more than £260,000, with the biggest donor the Heritage Lottery Fund, who gave £2.65m.The work, which measures 163.8cm x 169cm, is currently on tour and will be on public display in Inverness, Perth, Paisley and Kirkcudbright.
Source: BBC Bucks