A collection of rare paintings of the Stuart dynasty will be displayed in Scotland for the first time after the public got behind a museum's £25,000 fundraising bid.

The West Highland Museum in Fort William has been given exclusive access to a private collection owned by the Pininski Foundation in Liechtenstein of the family that inspired the Jacobite cause.

It includes a recently rediscovered portrait of a 16-year-old Bonnie Prince Charlie, by renowned Venetian artist Rosalba Carriera, which is believed to be the only portrait of the prince that pre-dates the 1745 Jacobite Rising. 

Others, such as a portrait of an elderly Prince Charles Edward Stuart by Hugh Douglas Hamilton, painted in Rome in 1786 were last displayed in Scotland in Glasgow, in 1910. 

The West Highland Museum in Fort William plans to stage a three-month exhibition next year to mark its centenary year.


More than 175 individual donors and businesses contributed to the fundraising campaign to raise £25,000 to bring the paintings to Scotland.

The campaign was backed by broadcaster and historian Paul Murton, of BBC Scotland's Grand Tours of  Scotland series.

The planned show will include thirteen paintings of four generations of the Royal House of Stuart, including James VIII (the Old Pretender) and his wife Princess Clementina Sobieska, through to Prince Charles Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, and his daughter, Charlotte the Duchess of Albany.



In total, nine Stuart monarchs ruled Scotland alone from 1371 until 1603, the last of which was James VI, before his accession in England.

The British crown passed to the house of Hanover in 1714. The first of their Kings, George I, was only 52nd in line to the throne, but the nearest Protestant according to the Act of Settlement.