Drinks giant Diageo recently decided to put this iconic Scottish painting by English artist Sir Edward Landseer up for auction with Christie’s, London. This dramatic action could have squirrelled the masterpiece into the depths of a private collection for many years to come.
Having hung in the National Galleries of Scotland for the last 17 years whilst on loan from the drinks company, it became a much-loved protagonist of the institution’s collection, and an integral part of Scottish culture. It even gave its name to a popular TV show set there.
Fortunately, due to a change of heart, Diageo decided to foot the bill for half of its estimated £8 million, with the proviso that the National Galleries of Scotland find the rest. It could therefore remain in situ, beloved by cultural enthusiasts.
With just 4 months to find the funds, this earnest gallery really have their work cut out…
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