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Lorenzetti - Early Renaissance Masterpiece

Lorenzetti - Early Renaissance Masterpiece

Picture by Gabriel Szabo/Guzelian

21/11/2017

In 2013 the Ferens Art Gallery acquired a significant art work which will now remain in the country for the benefit of the UK public. The rare and beautiful early Renaissance painting, 'Christ between Saints Paul and Peter' (dated c.1320) by Sienese artist Pietro Lorenzetti was placed under a temporary export bar by the Culture Secretary due to its high quality. Painted in tempera with a gold background, the panel once formed part of a larger altarpiece. A quintessential work by the artist and his only fully autograph work in the UK, it is considered to be of outstanding aesthetic and scholarly importance and the most ambitious purchase the Gallery has made since the Frans Hals Portrait of a Young Woman, bought in 1963. The purchase was made using the Gallery's Ferens Endowment Fund with the Heritage Lottery Fund, Art Fund and Wolfson Foundation awarding generous grants to Hull City Council. The 700 year old art work has now joined the Ferens permanent collection after receiving conservation treatment courtesy of the National Gallery in London as part of its commitment to the support of regional galleries. The conservation took about a year and included structural stabilisation, cleaning and restoration, and it is now displayed permanently at the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull. The Lorenzetti has been bought in memory of the Ferens highly esteemed and popular former Director, John Bradshaw (d.2001), using his bequest. In addition the majority of local funds came from the Ferens Endowment Fund, a trust ring-fenced for the purchase of art works established by Thomas Robinson Ferens the Gallery's founder, in 1928. Bradshaw, who died in 2001, expressed a non-binding wish for a pre-1800 work in his will and it is felt that the Lorenzetti provides a fitting tribute to him both as Director of the Ferens Art Gallery (1965-1974) and Curator of Hull City Museums and Art Galleries (1974 -1992). On arrival in Hull, the Heritage Lottery Fund grant has enabled an extensive public engagement programme around the Lorenzetti which is expected to last a total of 20 months.