Scottish National Gallery to host Bute Collection masterpieces

A SELECTION of some of the finest Old Master paintings from the famous Bute Collection at Mount Stuart is to go on public display in Scotland for the first time in more than 60 years.

‘Masterpieces from Mount Stuart’ will be a highlight of the spring exhibition programme at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh, featuring superb landscapes, stunning portraits and fascinating scenes of everyday life by artists such as Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch and Jacob Jordaens.

Built by the third Marquess of Bute to replace an early Georgian structure destroyed by fire in 1877, Mount Stuart, which has been open to the public since 1995, is home to one of the greatest collections of Old Master pictures in the UK. The exhibition, running from May 19 until December 2 at the Scottish National Gallery on the Mound, will feature work by 19 Dutch, Flemish, early Netherlandish and French masters in the largest display of works from the estate seen in public since the 1949 Edinburgh Festival.

The Bute Collection was primarily formed in the late eighteenth century by John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute and Prime Minister to George III. The collection was displayed at Luton Hoo, the 3rd Earl’s house in Bedfordshire, until it was destroyed by fire in 1843.

Over the years, the paintings were placed in a number of Bute family residences, including properties in London and later at Dumfries House and Cardiff Castle, before being transferred to Mount Stuart.