Rare pictures by Queen Victoria’s ‘favourite painter’ to go on show in Fife
Rarely seen drawings by a favourite painter of Queen Victoria are to go on show at his home town in Fife.
Nine biblically themed works by Sir Joseph Noel Paton are to be restored for an upcoming exhibition to mark 200 years since his birth.
The paintings by the monarch's royal limner - the art equivalent of poet laureate - will go on show at Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries in 2023 after restorative work.
Cultural charity OnFife s collections team leader Gavin Grant said: "We're delighted with the progress that's been made.
"When we eventually see all nine drawings together for the first time, in Noel Paton's home town, it will be a magnificent sight."
Sir Joseph's drawings of the Last Supper and the Resurrection were transformed into scenes that adorn the McLaren window of Dunfermline Abbey, where eight kings and four queens are buried.
His birthday is on December 13, but Covid-19 has delayed the exhibition, which will showcase the drawings, known as "cartoons".
The McLaren window, completed in 1904 - three years after his death - was his final commission.
Queen Victoria is reported to have said that the painter created "such beautiful pictures".
Among them is In Memoriam, a portrait of the monarch and her family following Prince Albert's death.
The nine cartoons are part of a series of 12 but the whereabouts of the other three is unknown.
Specialists at the Scottish Conservation Studio at Hopetoun House have completed work on five of the drawings.
Now funding is being sought to conserve the other four.
Exhibition curator Lesley Lettice said: "This retrospective will provide a unique insight into Noel Paton as an artist and as a man, bringing together paintings from museums across Scotland and private loans from family members, including photographs and drawings."
The drawings are in the care of OnFife, which also runs the Carnegie Library and Galleries.
Two of the drawings can be seen by appointment at OnFife's Collections Centre in Glenrothes from next month.