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National Galleries gets into swing with a major show of golf works

It will be far from par for the course:

CENTrEPIECE: Charles Lees' 1847 painting The Golfers of a foursome match at The Old Course.  Picture: Steve Cox
CENTrEPIECE: Charles Lees' 1847 painting The Golfers of a foursome match at The Old Course. Picture: Steve Cox

Scotland's national galleries are to showcase the "art of golf" for a major show in Edinburgh next year.

As part of its programme for 2014, the National Galleries Of Scotland will hold a major exhibition on "Scotland's national sport".

The Art Of Golf forms part of a series of shows that also feature works by American Impressionists, Scottish contemporary art, John Ruskin, Titian and a show linked to the commemoration of the centenary of the beginning of the First World War.

The golf show, which will also tie in with the Ryder Cup, which is being held at Gleneagles next September, will be centred around Charles Lees' The Golfers, a work from 1847 considered to be a classic portrayal of the sport.

It will feature 60 works, as well as works by Rembrandt and Sir Henry Raeburn, among others.

Michael Clarke, director of the National Gallery, said: "We are going to celebrate the whole visual history of the game in Scotland, going right back to its roots."

The show will also demonstrate the historic and contemporary importance of golf to Scotland's tourism industry, the development of links courses and posters to attract tourists north of the border.

Other works will include paintings on golf by Sir John Lavery, the Glasgow Boy, and "one of the greatest painters to do golf scenes".

The Generation exhibition of contemporary art, already launched, will be one of the major shows of next year, and Simon Groom, director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, said it would also feature new work by Karla Black and David Shrigley.

The year will also see the hanging of Titian's Diana And Actaeon and Diana And Callisto, both saved for the nation in multi-million pound deals, in a display that unites them with a third masterpiece from the same series, The Death Of Actaeon. It will be on loan, for the first time, from the National Gallery in London.

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