Responding to works in our collection Professor Murray Pittock, University of Glasgow will consider in this talk the Stuart dynasty's long history of patronising and promoting art and artists. In exile, this continued to be a major feature of court life. Beyond the fine art commissions of the Stuart court itself, there was also a steady stream of artistic propaganda designed to encourage and broaden their support, which increased significantly after the Union as they offered the only realistic political alternative future for Scotland. The move of the Stuarts to Italy in 1719 meant that this alternative was based in Rome. This had a powerful effect on art, artists and the art trade in Edinburgh and elsewhere. Jacobite spies, agents and sleepers were recruited through artistic networks, and the nature of the relationships established between Scottish artists and the Stuart Court changed the history of art in Scotland itself. Many who benefited from this network subsequently covered their tracks, which makes the rediscovery and appropriate identification of the reality of the politics of Scottish art in this era all the more compelling.