A unique exhibition of portraits from The Scottish National Portrait Gallery
in Edinburgh will be hosted by The Fleming Collection
this autumn. More than 40 paintings and photographs from the Gallerys permanent collection will go on show from 15 September to 19 December 2009. It will be a rare opportunity to see a selection of Scotlands finest examples of portraiture, many of which have never been on show in London before.
The exhibition, curated by James Holloway, Director of The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, will include portraits of some of Scotlands most famous historical figures such as Mary Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Charles Rennie MacIntosh and Robert Louis Stevenson. It will also show some of Scotlands contemporary personalities such as Gordon Brown, the actor Ewan MacGregor, and the author J.K. Rowling.
The earliest dated portrait in the exhibition will be a painting of James VI of Scotland and I of England from 1604. In fact all the people portrayed in the exhibition are Scottish and have been chosen for their contribution to Scottish history. Whether they were kings or queens, highland chieftains, writers, soldiers, actors or scientists, their life stories are essential in tracing Scotlands rich history.
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, one of the finest Arts and Crafts buildings in the UK, was first opened in 1889. Designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, it was intended not only to house the national portrait collection but also to be a monument to Scottish history and achievement.
The exhibition has been made possible because the Scottish National Portrait Gallery closed on 6 April 2009 for an extensive refurbishment programme and will not reopen until November 2011. The £17.6 million renovation project called Portrait of the Nation will open up the building and allow much more of the extensive collection to be seen by the general public. It will double the amount of space to show works of art, improve services and provide proper educational facilities.