Some of the Bute Collection’s finest paintings will make a rare public appearance at a collaborative exhibition in Glasgow this month.
Art of Power: Masterpieces from the Bute Collection offers a unique opportunity to see a selection of European and British masterpieces from Mount Stuart, one of the foremost private collections of artworks and artefacts in the UK.
Running until January 14, 2018, the exhibition is split across The Hunterian and Mount Stuart and the £6.00 ticket price covers admission to both locations.
From October 30, the exhibition at Mount Stuart will be available by appointment only as the estate will close for the offseason.
Many of the works on display have not been on public view in over a century.
Visitors to The Hunterian will get a flavour of the Bute Collection while the Mount Stuart exhibition presents works not normally seen as part of the tour.
The project is driven by new research on the collection of Old Master paintings at Mount Stuart and reflects the tastes of John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute and Prime Minister of Great Britain (1713-1792).
The Bute Collection was largely formed in the 18th century by Bute, who was the first Scottish-born Prime Minister and a one-time ‘favourite’ of George III.
He was Prime Minister between May 1762 and April 1763, though he remained in the House of Lords until 1780.
After retiring from politics he amassed one of the greatest art collections in Britain, which was distinctive for the quality and quantity of its Dutch and Flemish paintings.
At Mount Stuart, highlights include works by Veronese, Rubens (and workshop) and Frans Snyders, Pieter van Slingelandt and the stately portrait of the 3rd Earl by Joshua Reynolds.
These are accompanied by historical artefacts, such as costume, letters, and rare books.
At The Hunterian, highlights include works by Claude Lorrain, Jan Steen, Aelbert Cuyp, and Jacob van Ruisdael.
These are displayed alongside a selection of works on paper, including botanical illustrations and satirical prints.
The exhibition is accompanied by a book of essays and catalogue written by Bute Fellow Dr Caitlin Blackwell.
These include contributions by Dr Peter Black, curator at The Hunterian and Dr Oliver Cox, Heritage Engagement Fellow at the University of Oxford.