Benjamin West's The Death of a Stag,
a tour de force of pictorial theatre and his own unique Scottish masterpiece, has been the focus of high drama for over two centuries. Painted for the Clan Mackenzie in 1786, the gigantic canvas, measuring twelve by seventeen feet, is still the largest in the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland. The painting almost left these shores for America, but after a successful campaign, it was purchased in 1987. In 2004, the work was conserved in situ in the National Gallery of Scotland and this book tells the story of the picture, both in terms of its history and the conservation process.