The painting caused controversy for a variety of reasons.
Modern art critics felt it was a backward step. As it was painted in such a traditional style, they thought it was another notorious stunt by the artist.
Students from Glasgow School of Art presented a petition at the City Chambers. They felt the money could be better spent encouraging local artists and by providing them with exhibition space.
A moment of notoriety occurred in 1961 when a mentally disturbed visitor attacked and tore the canvas. It has been carefully restored since then, to be admired by countless millions of people.