Unique painting draws on castle’s history

Artist Maximillion Scotto with Raymond Morris, Laird of Balgonie at the unveiling. Pic: FPA
Artist Maximillion Scotto with Raymond Morris, Laird of Balgonie at the unveiling. Pic: FPA

An amateur Fife artist has immortalised the Laird of Balgonie - owner of Balgonie Castle - on canvas as part of a unique gift to the family.

Maximillion Scotto, who originates from Argentina but has lived in the Glenrothes area for the past 15 years, has spent the last 12 months painstakingly creating the special portrait which was unveiled at the castle earlier this month.

Mr Scotto drew on his keen interest in history, and his fondness for Balgonie Castle, one of the first places he visited in Glenrothes when he first arrived in the region, to produce the striking image.

“I have a certain fondness for Balgonie, I am interested by the history of it and because I love painting I thought it would be nice to make this donation to the ongoing restoration work here,” he said.

“The Laird has an interesting face and it was a challenge to paint in an 18th century style, with the setting, the landscape and painting an image of a complete Balgonie Castle, which Mr Morris tells me is his dream.”

And the painting, which is now hung above the stairwell for guests and tourists to admire was a complete surprise, explains the painting’s subject Raymond Morris.

“The painting is quite incredible and Max’s kind gesture came out of the blue, I’m very impressed by his talents and what he has created.

“What I find especially fascinating is Max’s interpretation of my image, it’s wonderful and I’m sure he will one day reach is goal of becoming a full time artist, he’s certainly good enough,” added the 86-year-old Laird.

Glenrothes MP Lindsay Roy and the Lord Lieutenant of Fife were among those at the special unveiling ceremony.

The painting presented a number of challenges

Artist Max Scotto told the Gazette that the work threw up a number of new challenges in the four sittings that it took to complete.

“I wanted to created an 18th century-styled picture which is something I would not normally be painting and the fact that I’d not painted tartan before was certainly a challenge,” said Max.

“But I’m pleased with the outcome and I think the Laird is too, he’s been very encouraging throughout the process,” he added.

With restoration work continuing on Balgonie Castle, the artist also had to study models of a completed building in order to get the right image for the finished painting.

“Because the 13th century building is incomplete it proved a challenge to get it right,” added Max.