ARTIQ & Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian open ‘The Man & The Monarch’ exhibition

The new collection at the Waldorf Astoria, Edinburgh, created especially for the hotel by art consultants ARTIQ, is based around and inspired by one of the most famous Scottish paintings of all time – ‘The Monarch of the Glen’ – and its artist, the Victorian painter and Royal Academician Sir Edwin Henry Landseer.

Painted in 1851, this monumental depiction of a Royal Stag in the Scottish Highlands contributed to Landseer’s fame and was considered the perfect example of his moralistic, anthropomorphised portrayals of the animal kingdom. The painting became so popular, it leant its appeal to sweet tins and whiskey branding, as well giving its name to a BBC series in the early noughties.

In 2016, the painting became a topical cause célèbre when its current owner, drinks giant Diageo, put it up for sale, raising the possibility of the painting departing its erstwhile home in the National Museum of Scotland and moving out of the country altogether. The decision was reversed following a public outcry and the painting now hangs in the National Gallery of Scotland, with the institution campaigning to raise funds for the painting to transfer to its permanent collection.

Pairing a selection of Landseer’s other works with portraits of the artist and contemporary prints, this exhibition explores the man behind the painting, acknowledging Landseer’s struggles with depression that accompanied the accolades and fame.

Click here to download the exhibition programme