It is a portrait of Sir John Gordon, a Highland MP in the 18th century and above all the descendant of the great Scottish family who founded the port of Invergordon. A bit by chance, the bust of this illustrious character sculpted by the Frenchman Edmé Bouchardon (1698 - 1762), who notably signed the Fontaine des Quatre-Saisons located on rue de Grenelle in Paris, was found in a shed where it served a common doorstop.
This work, acquired for a pittance in 1931, or around 6 euros, is estimated, at the very least, for a whopping 3 million euros today. This hitherto putative windfall, which could materialize in the face of a wonderful offer from a foreign collector, is today the joy of the municipal council of the Scottish city and its inhabitants who see it as an effective way of enriching the accounts. of Invergordon in order to strengthen its social works. A vision that is too self-serving, however, for art historians who think that this bust of Bouchardon rightfully belongs to the historical heritage of Scotland.
Also read: Bouchardon on a pedestal
A British figure in art history, Professor Bendor Grosvenor, a specialist in lost works by Rubens and Peter Brueghel the Younger, even took up this matter. For him the statue of Sir John Gordon by Bouchardon is a masterpiece. Very influential across the Channel, he did not hesitate to declare to our British colleagues: “All they want is to sell it very expensively to someone outside Scotland, while they "There is no reason why it should not be loaned to Inverness Museum, the National Galleries of Scotland or the National Museum of Scotland."
The ball is now in the court of Invergordon municipal officials. They agreed that a public consultation should be organized shortly on the future of the bust....