A PAINTING of Holyrood with a poetic inspiration has been bought for the Scottish Parliament's own £1.6 million art collection.

The Scottish artist Ruth Nicol, based in Edinburgh, painted 'Holyrood 2014, Robert Garioch', inspired by the famous 1980 painting by Sandy Moffat, Poet's Pub.

That seminal work features seven modern Scottish poets - George Mackay Brown, Robert Garioch, Norman MacCaig, Hugh MacDiarmid, Sorley MacLean, Edwin Morgan and Iain Crichton Smith.

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Nicol, born and raised in Glasgow but trained at Edinburgh College of Art, has created a series of paintings and drawings exploring the geographic locations and places important to each poet.

Robert Garioch, who lived from 1909 to 1981, was known for writing in Scots and was writer in residence at the University of Edinburgh.

The acrylic on canvas painting of Holyrood, which was bought for the Scottish Parliament's collection for £8,000, is based on the view from the Burns Monument below Calton Hill. It is measures more than 6ft by just under 10ft.

Nicol said: "I painted right in the heart of the Referendum, one of the most important times in the nation's life, although I think the [political] tone of the painting is neutral and I think the distance from the parliament helps that.

"I am absolutely thrilled it is to part of the parliament's collection - it is just the right place for it to be so that the Scottish public can see it, and a wider audience."

The presiding officer of the parliament, Tricia Marwick, will unveil the painting in Parliament, with the artist in attendance, tomorrow morning.

The collection of work, from which the painting is taken, is called Three Rivers Meet.

The title Three Rivers Meet is a reference to MacDiarmid's claim that he could orientate himself in Langholm by the sound of each of the three rivers that meet there.

Nicol said: "I have been the length and breadth of Scotland doing these paintings, for Hugh MacDiarmid I went to the Borders and Shetland for example.

"Garioch was very interested in the architecture and personalities of the people in Edinburgh so I thought it would be very appropriate to paint the parliament.

"You can see it nestling there under Arthur's Seat."

The painting depicts the Scottish Parliament building between the Salisbury Crags and the city, from a vantage point of the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse is also visible on the left edge of the painting.

The Three Rivers exhibition opened at the Open Eye Gallery and toured to a number of other Scottish venues.

Ms Nicol has been represented by the Open Eye Gallery since 2010.

She has exhibited in numerous group shows in Scotland since 2008, including as part of RSA New Contemporaries in 2011 and has had solo exhibitions in Linlithgow, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Nairn.

Robert Garioch was born in Edinburgh in 1909 and studied English at Edinburgh University between 1927 and 1931.

He spent many years working as a schoolteacher in the London area, both before and after the Second World War. During the war, Robert served as a signalman, and was captured and became a prisoner of war.

He returned to Edinburgh in the late 1950s and took early retirement from teaching in the mid-1960s.

Thereafter he worked in the School of Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh where he held a Writer's Fellowship from 1971 until 1973.

There are currently 50 artists and craftspeople represented in the Scottish Parliament Art Collection.

Acquired for about £330,000, the collection is now valued for insurance purposes at £1.6m.