Page last updated at 18:45 GMT, Thursday, 16 April 2009 19:45 UK

Composer portrait shown to public

Mendelssohn: Portrait by Thomas Duncan RSA
The portrait has never been displayed to the public

A rare portrait of the composer Felix Mendelssohn is to go on public view in Scotland, almost two centuries after it was painted.

The portrait - by Thomas Duncan - was painted in Scotland in 1829, during Mendelssohn's first tour of the UK.

It was during the Scottish leg of that tour that he composed his famous Hebrides Overture.

The painting will go on display at St John's Cathedral in Oban as part of the Mendelssohn on Mull festival.

It was bought by the current owner's grandfather in 1917.

The family, who wish to remain anonymous because of security fears about the painting, said their grandfather, who was returning home from the Somme after being injured, bought the painting for £3.

It has been in their family in Scotland since then.

Closing concert

Earlier this year they contacted the organisers of the festival - which will celebrate the composer's Scottish connections - to offer the portrait for display.

The work will be shown as part of the closing concert at the cathedral on 4 July.

The London auction house, Sotheby's, has already authenticated the work but it is hoped further investigation of an inscription on the back will offer more detail about the portrait's history.



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