Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Campbell Sisters waltz back to Scottish National Gallery

The Campbell Sisters Image copyright PA

A life-size marble sculpture of two dancing sisters has gone back on show in Scotland after being bought by the Scottish National Gallery.

The Campbell Sisters, by Lorenzo Bartolini, was commissioned in Florence around 1820.

It was originally installed at Inveraray Castle. It was later lent to the Scottish National Gallery before being put up for auction by its owner.

But a campaign to retain the Sisters raised enough to secure the sculpture.

The Campbell Sisters shows Emma and Julia, the two youngest daughters of Lady Charlotte Campbell, dancing a waltz.

Image copyright PA

The piece took its place at Inveraray Castle, which was the seat of Lady Charlotte's brother, the 6th Duke of Argyll.

It had more recently been on display on loan at the gallery in Edinburgh for 20 years before being sold at auction to an overseas museum.

However, it was then ruled that the export should be delayed for six months to allow time for a UK museum to match the auction price.

National Galleries of Scotland and the Victoria & Albert Museum joined forces to try to buy the Sisters.

The were able to match the price with help from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, The Art Fund and a generous private donation.

The Campbell Sisters will be shown for equal periods in Edinburgh and London, rotating with the jointly-owned Three Graces by Antonio Canova.

Related Topics

More on this story