A HIGHLAND museum described as a “must see” by Outlander fans has acquired a rare painting by one of Scotland’s most influential artists for its prized Jacobite collection.

October in Knoydart, by DY (David Young) Cameron, depicts the mountainous route through which Charles Edward Stuart escaped in 1745 after a failed attempt to regain the British throne for his father, James Francis Edward Stuart.

Born in Glasgow in 1865, the son of a minister, DY Cameron was one of Scotland’s leading landscape artists of the 20th century and a fringe member of the Glasgow Boys – the circle of influential artists and designers that began to form  in the city in the 1870s,

The acquisition has personal significance for the West Highland Museum in Fort William, which will mark its centenary year 2022, as the artist was one of its earliest patrons. 

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It houses one of Scotland’s finest collections of objects relating to Bonnie Prince Charlies and the Jacobite cause, including a “secret” mirrored portrait that is its most viewed artefact.

HeraldScotland:

The museum has enjoyed a welcome boost in visitor numbers thanks to the time-travelling drama Outlander, starring Sam Heughan, which covers the failed Jacobite uprising, leading up to the doomed battle of Culloden.

The oil on canvas was acquired by the museum after grant funding was sourced by Art Fund and National Fund for Acquisitions. In 2004, one of his landscape works sold for a five-figure sum.

DY Cameron  studied at Glasgow School of Art and although he also made many paintings, drawings and watercolours, it was as a printmaker that he initially received the most recognition.

The basement of his house in Kippen included space for his own printing press and his prints are said to have been eagerly sought after by collectors.One sold for £640 in 1929, the equivalent to around £36,000 today.

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In 1928, just two years after the British Museum paid £600 for a Michelangelo study for the celebrated Creation of Adam on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, Cameron’s etching Five Sisters, York Minster, sold for $2,500 (£660).

However, his reputation as a painter in oil and watercolour was also substantial. Highland landscapes are characterised by dramatic contrasts of light and colour, a shift from the romantically charged works of earlier artists. He died in 1945.

Roger Billcliffe, who owns a fine art gallery in Glasgow city centre, said: “DY Cameron was a fringe member of the Glasgow Boys. He was always slightly more commercial.

“He was one of the first of the ‘boys’ to regularly send work to Europe but in later life his work tended to focus on slightly technicolour landscapes and he was also a very good etcher and was part of the etching revival that started before the war and continued through the 1930s

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"He was a very popular painter because he painted a modern, Romantic landscape.”

Ian Peter MacDonald, director of the West Highland Museum, said: “For some time the museum has been looking for a suitable painting by Sir David Young Cameron to add to the collection. 

“I was walking up Dundas Street in Edinburgh one evening in February and saw this beautiful oil painting by Cameron in the window of the Fine Art Society.

"It was a painting of Knoydart, the very route through which Prince Charles Stewart escaped in 1746.

“With the kind support of the Art Fund, it is so rewarding to have this masterwork now hanging in our Jacobite gallery.”