Historic paintings are to return to Aberdeen in the spring.
The King’s Paintings at Aberdeen University are believed to date back to the 1600s.
Over time they became known as the Black Paintings because of the wear and tear which obscured them.
In order to bring them back to their former glory, they were sent down to The WASPS Factory in Glasgow.
Two of the paintings are now scheduled to return by Easter, with the remaining three, which are in better condition, expected to return by late summer.
If all goes to plan, they should be displayed in the Sir Duncan Rice Library before Christmas.
Each of the paintings features a scene from the Old Testament, including David and Goliath, David and Abigail, the Judgment of Solomon, Solomon and the Queen of Sheba and Jephthah and his Daughter.
They are being painstakingly restored by the team in Glasgow, in order to shed the “black paintings” moniker.
Anne Harper, a trustee of the Aberdeen University Development Trust, donated £60,000 towards the project, and has travelled down to the facility to see the restoration in process.
She said: “David and Goliath was quite damaged but the others were not too bad.
“It had more damage to it than we originally thought.
“There’s bits that needed to be removed and bits that have been filled in because of mould damage.
“Then they can come back up again.”
Anne first came across the paintings when she was an undergraduate studying at the university between 1969 and 1973.
During a dinner held at Elphinstone Hall, where they were being kept behind curtains, she moved them to show the artwork to a group of art historians but had to lift a corner of the curtain using a table lamp.
At this point, Anne thought there must be a better way that they could be stored.
She said: “They’ve been waiting for this for an awfully long time.
“It’s quite cool that they all seem to tell a story.
“I’m a hillwalker, so what really struck me as interesting is that some of the hills look local.”
She added that in some of the pictures hills can be seen, and other parts of the landscape, which the artist would have picked up from where they were living.
Anne said: “I knew about the paintings in a roundabout way when I was a student.
“They’re really big, and they were kept in King’s Chapel. I investigated getting new curtains but it was going to be ludicrously expensive to have a curtain put in.
“I got a bit disappointed but then the library said they would take them.
“We need to show them off and talk about them,
“It’s one of the great stories of Aberdeen University that the museums and library collections are so good.”
Although the paintings are housed at the university, it’s unclear where they originally came from.
Research was carried out by the university’s history of art department.
Professor John Morrison and Dr Mary Pryor’s work suggests they were created as “confrontational warnings” directed at King Charles II by the Scottish Covenanters during a time of significant political unrest. The five paintings were stored at King’s College Chapel but were moved to Elphinstone Hall in the early 2000s.
The university is thought to have had them from the 1800s, despite the fact that it is still not clear how they came to be in its possession.
Since then, they have been hidden away from view, and have only made a few brief public appearances.
When all of the paintings have returned home to the Granite City, it is anticipated that the university will host an exhibition and events around the artwork.