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Issued: 10 July 2003

Picture Perfect At Montrose Museum

A fascinating historic painting of Montrose High Street has gone on display for the first time since 1890.

It was painted by Montrose-born artist Alexander Madoland (1801-95) in 1837 and its purchase by Montrose Museum was grant-aided from national funds.

The picture is currently on display as part of the Up the High Street exhibition of paintings, prints and photographs in Montrose Museum.

It shows part of the street near the steeple when it was the site of the historic Tolbooth. Detailed paintings of this sort are very rare and this is an important record of the development of the town centre at that date.

Alexander Madoland was born at Montrose in 1801 and apprenticed to cabinetmaker Francis Japp. He was fond of art, took up sketching in his spare time along with lessons in oil painting. In 1843 he became drawing master at the Academy on comfortable salary of £10 a year. After a long career he retired in 1881.

Not much is known about the painting's early history although it was owned by a Mr Dickson of Sunnyside House and gifted to Sunnyside Hospital. He allowed it to be displayed in the museum in 1890. The museum bought the painting from the Tayside Primary Care NHS Trust who inherited it from Sunnyside where it was hung in the Board Room.

Nigel Dalziel, curator, said: "The painting's importance is acknowledged by the grant aid provided by the National Acquisition Fund in Edinburgh. We are very grateful for this support which allows the painting to be seen and appreciated by the public for the first time in 103 years. It has also allowed us to reunite it with the museum's other Madoland painting of the High Street and has greatly added to the quality of the collection."

The painting is on view at the museum during normal opening hours: 10am to 5pm Monday-Saturday.

Further information: Nigel Dalziel (01674) 673232.