IT is a "hugely significant" illustration of Gaelic national identity and heritage.

Now the striking painting A Highland Chieftain: Portrait of Lord Mungo Murray has been secured for Glasgow and will go on display in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

It is the earliest major portrait, and painted by John Michael Wright (1617-1694), to depict a sitter full-length in Highland dress.

Chairman of Glasgow Life and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor David McDonald, said: "We are indebted to The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Art Fund, Friends of Glasgow Museums and the National Fund for Acquisitions.

"Our successful acquisition of this hugely significant painting for Scottish culture and national identity ensures it remains accessible to the public who have come to love and identify with the work.

"Visitors can learn more about the painting and the artist through a programme of events and activities that will accompany its display in Kelvingrove.

"The portrait supports Glasgow Museums’ Scottish history, dress and textile and military collections, providing invaluable information for cultural historians interested in our national heritage, Gaelic culture and Highland identity."

READ MORE: Glasgow woman describes 'mass panic' as David Cameron’s guard ‘left gun in BA plane toilet’

Mungo Murray is portrayed at the age of 15 wearing a doublet and féileadh mór, or belted plaid in tartan, that pre-dates the invention of kilts and clan tartans.

The painting has been put on display in the Scottish Identity in Art gallery at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum next to examples of Scottish weaponry, textiles and decorative art objects, which provide historic context.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Director, Scotland, Caroline Clarke, said: "This striking work of art is a photograph of its time, capturing a period in our social history which predates the Highland dress we recognise today.

"We’re delighted that thanks to National Lottery funding, it will form the centerpiece of a gallery where everyone can see and enjoy it while exploring Scotland’s heritage and identity."

The large-scale work presents Lord Mungo Murray (1668-1700) as a powerful Highlander warrior, standing in a mountainous landscape with his servant in the background.

READ MORE: Homeless deaths in Glasgow revealed, highest in Scotland

He is clothed with a paned wool doublet embroidered with silver and silver-gilt threads, which demonstrates his wealth and status as an aristocratic and cosmopolitan Highland Scot.

He proudly holds a long gun made for hunting, sports a brass basket-hilted sword of ribbon-hilt form and a lavishly-decorated dirk, the ornamental knot-work of which is unique to the Gàidhealtachd and wears a brace of steel pistols, complete with rams-horn’ shaped butts hooked on each side of his belt, a design that was exclusive to Scotland.

Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar said: "Lord Mungo Murray’s fine portrait draws on the ideology of the brave and fearless warrior, so much part of Scotland’s history and identity.

"It’s an excellent addition to Glasgow Museums’ permanent collection, enriching the story of one the most celebrated of Highland Chieftains."

The safeguarding of the painting for the culture of Scotland will enable Glasgow Museums to advance its research into Gaelic culture and Scottish history.

Glasgow Life said that museum officials would use family events, educational workshops, talks and tours, handling sessions and craft opportunities focused on the painting, to explore issues of tartan myths; the meaning of Scottish identity in a multi-cultural, diverse society; gender stereotypes, toxic masculinity; teenage culture and transatlantic slavery.

The Allan and Carol Murray Collection had previously loaned the artwork to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum from 2002.