Help us bring Bonnie Prince Charlie home

by West Highland Museum, Highlands and Islands

days left

£8,750 raised of the £25,000 needed
81 funders

0% funded

34% funded

Help us bring the exiled Royal House of Stuart back to Scotland for an iconic exhibition.

We need your help to bring previously unseen portraits of the exiled Stuart dynasty back to Scotland for an exhibition at the West Highlands Museum.

Located in Lochaber, known as the ‘cradle’ of the 1745 Jacobite Rising, our museum is famous for our Jacobite collection, and to celebrate our 100th birthday in 2022 we want to bring a collection of 13 portraits of the Stuart family, some of which have never before been displayed in the UK, back home to the West Highlands for an exhibition.

Prince Charles Edward Stuart, by Rosalba Carriera, 1737 (Pininski Foundation)

The Stuarts ruled Scotland from 1371 and were the first monarchs to rule England and Scotland from 1603, with James VI of Scotland succeeding to the English throne after Elizabeth I’s death. In 1688 James VII (II of England) was deposed in the 'Glorious Revolution' and fled into exile to France where he established his court in exile at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a few miles to the west of Paris. His supporters were known as Jacobites (after Jacobus, the Latin for James) and over the next century several unsuccessful attempts were made by the Jacobites to restore James’ heirs to the throne.

James' grandson Prince Charles Edward Stuart instigated the most famous Rising in August 1745. He landed here in Lochaber in the West Highlands and rallied the Jacobite clans. The Jacobites occupied Edinburgh, where the Prince held a magnificent ball at Holyroodhouse to celebrate his victory at the Battle of Prestonpans, before his army moved south and invaded England. In December 1745, they reached as far south as Derby and it is said that the Hanoverian monarch, George II was preparing to flee London. However, the Prince was persuaded to retreat to Scotland where at Culloden Moor the final battle of the Jacobite Risings was fought in April 1746. The Jacobite Army was defeated and the Prince became a fugitive, famously hiding in the Highland lochs and glens from Government troops who were in hot pursuit. In September 1746 he escaped to France and the legend of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Highland adventure was born.

James VIII & III, by Alexis Simon Belle, 1712 (Pininski Foundation)
Princess Clementina Sobieska, by William Mosman, 1733 (Pininski Foundation)

Our exhibition will feature the newly discovered Rosalba Carriera portrait of the Prince painted in Venice in 1737. Carriera is one of the most successful female artists of any era and is renowned for her portraiture, particularly her pastel work. This portrait of the young Prince was rediscovered in 2018 and exhibited briefly at National Museums Scotland in 2019. Unless this crowdfunding campaign is successful, this iconic portrait and others in this collection may never be displayed in the UK again as they could soon be on permanent loan to a European museum.

The exhibition will also include 13 paintings of four generations of the Royal House of Stuart, including James VIII and III (known to the Hanoverians as the Old Pretender) and his wife Princess Clementina Sobieska, through to Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) and his daughter Charlotte, Duchess of Albany. The series of paintings ends with Charlotte’s daughter Princess Marie Victorie de Rohan.

The paintings come from the Pininski Foundation, Liechtenstein, who care for this important private collection of fine art and the costs will cover transportation from Europe, installation and interpretation.

With your help we can bring Bonnie Prince Charlie and his family back home to Scotland for this iconic exhibition in August 2022.

5 Reasons to help us

From helping make history to celebrating our centenary with us. Here are five great reasons to donate todayRead more

Our rewards are steeped in Jacobite history

As a thank you for donating to our campaign, you can claim this unique piece of Jacobite history. Discover the story behind our set of beechwood coasters rewardRead more

We’ve reached a quarter of the way, can you help more by sharing?

We have just 22 days left to raise the final £20,000 needed, which will give people the opportunity to see these rare and iconic portraits in ScotlandRead more

Wendy Franey

16 hours ago

Good luck to everyone involved in the project!

Susan Pacitti Ferguson

1 day ago

Wishing you all the best of luck with the project!

Christine Thwaite

1 day ago

Look forward to seeing the exhibition

Colin West

2 days ago

Good luck! / Gura math a thèid leibh!

Alex Ogilvie

2 days ago

Best of luck with the fundraising!

Maureen Henderson

2 days ago

May you reach your fundraising target.

Leigh Spiers

2 days ago

Good luck.
Great idea, hope to visit.

John Cameron

2 days ago

Good luck with the campaign!

Hilary Sutherland

3 days ago

Good luck

Tom Adam

3 days ago

Well done and good luck in meeting the target!

Jane Wills

3 days ago

Best of luck with reaching your target , I hope you get lots of support

Iain Macdonald

4 days ago

Happy to help the arts and our heritage in a small way

Claudia Zumsteg

4 days ago

Thank you very much, this very wonderful and important project needs our greatest support.

Lora De Felice

4 days ago

Looking forward to the exhibition!

Lois MacDonell of Glengarry

5 days ago

To bring these paintings to the Highlands and indeed the UK for the first time will be marvellous.

David Mcnaughton

5 days ago

Every good wish in your endeavours

Anthony Murphy

5 days ago

A very worthy cause. Good luck!

Annette Welsh

6 days ago

Good luck and I look forward to visiting once these artworks are home

Charles Runcie

6 days ago

Good luck, from one Charlie to another!

Angela Macdonald

21 October 2021 - 05:07

Good luck fom a Lochaber exile!

Marie Robertson

18 October 2021 - 18:27

Fingers crossed this goes ahead,Would be amazing to see.I will share everywhere.Good luck.

Julie Roberts

18 October 2021 - 10:27

Good luck! I’d love to see the exhibition!

Linda Anderson

18 October 2021 - 06:21

Great idea. Well done.

Anne Montgomery

17 October 2021 - 18:37

from Jackie

Maggie Craig

17 October 2021 - 14:36

Sounds like a wonderful idea to celebrate your centenary!

William Harper

17 October 2021 - 13:26

Got to keep our ancestors picture for the future citizens

Jean Keltie

17 October 2021 - 09:46

What a vision for the museum!

Irving Nixon

15 October 2021 - 17:28

I wish you every success with this project!

Catriona Grindley

15 October 2021 - 08:17

Wishing you every success.

Fiona Read

14 October 2021 - 20:41

all the best for this cause!!

Tim Paine

14 October 2021 - 19:53

Great project! Good luck!!

Mark Bridgeman

14 October 2021 - 16:52

Good luck with the appeal!

Diana Laffin

14 October 2021 - 15:04

Good Luck!

Kenneth Barker

14 October 2021 - 10:44

Good luck with the campaign!

Colleen Barker

14 October 2021 - 09:17

Good luck!

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