History Group Papers: 2007

Read an outline of the talks and papers from the National Gallery History Group in 2007:

Meeting Twenty-Three: 1 March 2007

Veronese in Trafalgar Square: three major nineteenth century acquisitions – Nicholas Penny, National Gallery of Art, Washington
The National Gallery Archive does not hold a copy of this paper.

Veronese’s The Consecration of Saint Nicholas was purchased for the National Gallery – but before the Gallery was actually founded. The circumstances are highly revealing of the determination of a small group within the British Institution and highly suggestive of their artistic priorities.

Veronese’s The Family of Darius before Alexander on the other hand is the single-most spectacular continental purchase made by the Gallery under Eastlake’s directorship. It was made possible by political and legal circumstances which are easily overlooked.

The third major acquisition to be discussed – Veronese’s four Allegories – illustrates the completely changed attitude of the National Gallery at the end of the 19th century, when it began trying to prevent the descendants of the great collectors who had helped to found the Gallery from selling their treasures abroad.

Meeting Twenty-Four: 22 May 2007

Henry Vaughan (1809-99): An Undervalued Victorian Connoisseur – Christopher Baker, Deputy Director, The National Gallery of Scotland
The National Gallery Archive does not hold a copy of this paper.

Henry Vaughan, who lived in London, was one of the most distinguished collectors of British art in the second half of the 19th century. However, he remains among the least well-known.

He is perhaps best remembered, if at all, as the donor of Constable’s The Hay-Wain to the National Gallery, and as an enthusiast for the work of Turner. But his taste encompassed a remarkably broad range of Old Master and 18th and 19th-century English paintings and drawings. This talk provided an overview of his collection and his ambitions for it through gifts to museums and galleries.

Meeting Twenty-Five: 17 October 2007

The Travel Notebooks of Sir Charles Lock Eastlake – Susanna Avery-Quash, Eastlake Research Fellow, The National Gallery
The National Gallery Archive does not hold a copy of this paper.

Dr Avery-Quash discussed some of the highlights of Sir Charles Lock Eastlake’s travel diaries and gave an overview of progress made on the Eastlake Diaries project. The project will result in the publication in 2011 by the Walpole Society of the entire travel diaries of Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, the Gallery’s first director.

The 36 notebooks housed in the Gallery’s Archive include valuable material relating to pictures viewed by Eastlake at dealers’ premises and in public and private collections, including notes on their attribution, condition and technique. Together they provide a remarkable overview of pictures and collections throughout Italy and parts of Europe between 1852 and 1865, and include numerous references to individual pictures.

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