A collection of 54 large paintings by the late Scottish artist Alexander Goudie, depicting the story of Burns’ Tam o’ Shanter, are to go on display in full for the first time since they were completed in 1996. 
The paintings illustrate the story of Burn’s Tam O’Shanter and were painted by Goudie in 1995 prompted by the approaching bi-centenary of the poet’s death.
A selection of the massive paintings have been on view in Rozelle House, in Ayr, but the sheer size of the works will fill all the spaces at The Maclaurin Gallery and much of Rozelle House as well.
South Ayrshire Council said it was “a mammoth undertaking and a truly historic event not to be missed”.
The series was first shown at the Edinburgh Festival in 1996 and is acknowledged as among the very best of Scottish narrative or illustrative painting.
Goudie’s paintings were in danger of being sold off in separate lots before a consortium of Scottish multi-millionaires including Brian Souter and Tom Hunter intervened with £500,000 to keep the collection together.
The 54 paintings by Goudie, who died in 2004, aged 70, represent each stanza in the poem as Tam makes his wild, drunken ride across the Brig O’Doon, to escape pursuing witches.
Lachlan Goudie, the artist’s son son, says: “My dad was obsessed with Tam o’ Shanter and he spent decades of his life creating these images.
“Since childhood, he’d known about Robert Burns and it had been his lifelong ambition to create this complete cycle of images.”
Mr Goudie, who is a painter himself, says: “He was painting Tam o’ Shanter way beyond the point where my mother was shouting ‘enough’.
“He was a professional artist and needed to make a living and my mother looked at these terrifying huge canvasses and thought “we are never going to sell these paintings”.
He says his father was “theatrical, noisy, hilarious and sometimes terrifying” and that is exactly what comes through in the paintings.
Mr Goudie says viewing the cycle turns the black and white text of the poem into the “most vivid fireworks that you can imagine”.
The exhibition runs until March 12, in Rozelle House and the Maclaurin Gallery in Rozelle Park, Monument Road, Ayr KA7 4NQ