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16 May 2019

From the Far East to Scotland’s North East

The Romantic Scotland exhibition will be on display at Duff House from Saturday 18 May to Sunday 29 September, following exhibition in China.

A person wearing white gloves holding up a historic metal helmet

The late 18th century ushered in a new cultural movement in Scotland, which developed throughout the 19th century and transformed the country’s art, literature and national identity.

The impact and legacy of this period is explored in Romantic Scotland, which goes on display at Duff House in Banff from Saturday 18 May to Sunday 29 September 2019.

Curated by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and The National Galleries of Scotland, the exhibition showcases paintings from some of the leading Scottish artists of the 18th and 19th centuries - from Alexander Nasmyth and William McTaggart to Glasgow Boys Sir James Guthrie and Sir John Lavery – displayed alongside artefacts and exhibits from the same period, contrasting artists’ creations with documentary photographs, archive material and tangible objects.

Claire Whitbread, Exhibitions Manager at HES, said:

“Romanticism in Scotland sought inspiration from the country’s natural surroundings, particularly the wild and dramatic landscapes of the Highlands, and often involved an emotional response to nature."

The romantic image of Scotland popularised in the late 1700s and early 1800s has had lasting influence and significance, playing an important role in shaping both Scottish identity and perception of the country internationally.

“This exhibition, in juxtaposing the romantic interpretations of Scotland’s landscapes with historical photographs and objects, explores the different stories these items tell of this period in Scotland’s history.”

Tricia Allerston, Co-Director of ‘Celebrating Scotland’s Art’: The Scottish National Gallery Project, said:

“The National Galleries of Scotland are delighted to be working with Historic Environment Scotland on this exhibition at Duff House.

“The complementary nature of our two National Collections helps us to explore a key aspect of Scotland’s culture and heritage in new and refreshing ways, and we hope visitors will enjoy it.”

Romantic Scotland heads to Duff House following exhibition in China, where it was on display at Nanjing Museum, one of the country’s largest cultural institutions.

Entry to the exhibition is included in the Duff House admission price and is free for Historic Scotland members.

This summer, Duff House is extending its opening hours to open daily from 9.30am to 5.30pm.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

  • We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
  • View our press pack and keep up to date by registering for media release email alerts. If you wish to unsubscribe, please contact us.

About Duff House

  • Duff House is a masterpiece of baroque architecture and one of the most important buildings in the north of Scotland. It was designed in 1735 by the renowned Scottish architect William Adam and is now a five-star visitor attraction, run in partnership by Historic Environment Scotland, the National Galleries of Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council.
  • The National Galleries provides most of the artworks on permanent display in the House, including important paintings by El Greco, Gainsborough and Raeburn, and contributes to the regular programme of exhibitions and displays.

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For more information please contact:

Claire Mullaney
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct line: 0131 668 8588
Mobile: 07881 512 379