One of the most prestigious galleries of Scottish art, with a renowned private collection of Glasgow Boys and Scottish Colourists, is to close.

The Fleming Collection gallery in Mayfair, London, is to shut next year, and the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, which runs it, is to pursue a new "museum without walls" strategy.

The collection comprises over 600 oils and watercolours from 1770 to the present day.

After the sale of the Fleming’s merchant bank in 2000, the Foundation was established by members of the Fleming family with the aim of "furthering the understanding and fame of Scottish art outside Scotland through exhibitions, education and publishing."

The gallery will close in March next year and the foundation will instead focus on its loans, exhibitions, and arts education.

It already provides bursaries and mentoring to young artists through the Royal Scottish Academy.

It will also concentrate on its website and Scottish Art News publication.HeraldScotland:

James Knox, director of the Foundation, said: "From now on our collection will support and initiate exhibitions to expand the audience for Scottish art in the UK and overseas.

"Indeed, this process of cultural diplomacy has already begun with our loan of key paintings and contribution of art-historical advice to the first ever survey of Scottish art to be staged in France [at the Musee du chateau des ducs de Wurtenberg, Montbeliard].

Rory Fleming, chairman of the Foundation, said: "This is a great moment in the history of the Foundation, which will build on our track record of raising the profile and influence of Scottish art and creativity.”

The Fleming Collection dates back to 1968 when Flemings, the former merchant bank, moved into new offices in London.

As a celebration of the Scottish origins of the bank, founded by Robert Fleming in Dundee, the Board began to acquire works by Scottish artists.

The collection includes works dating from the 18th century, including paintings by Allan Ramsay and Henry Raeburn.HeraldScotland:

It also includes two seminal images of the Highland Clearances: Thomas Faed’s The Last of The Clan and John Watson Nicol’s Lochaber No More.

It also owns works by the Glasgow Boys, Scottish Colourists as well as later twentieth century masters, such as Anne Redpath and John Bellany.

When the bank was sold to J.P Morgan in 2000, the collection was purchased by members of the family and vested in the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation.

The Wyfold name was added to the name to commemorate the life of the last Lord Wyfold, a grandson of Robert Fleming