The Gestingthorpe Choir - Reidentified

April 4 2020

Image of The Gestingthorpe Choir - Reidentified

Picture: The Telegraph

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Telegraph have a published a fascinating news story today regarding the reidentification of a group portrait of musicians.

The said picture belongs to London art dealer and Fake or Fortune? presenter Philip Mould, who purchased the large scale painting at an auction several decades ago. Over the past few days Philip has been presenting a brilliant daily series exploring his private collection kept in his Oxfordshire home, all in response to the #ArtInIsolation that is sweeping social media during the present lockdown.

Andy Craig, a local historian and chairman of his village’s history society, watched Philip’s video online when he realised that it matched a long lost painting described in Notes on the Parish of Gestingthorpe, published in 1905. The painting’s naïve feel, identified in the pamphlet as The Gestingthorpe Choir, indicates that it is likely to have been produced by a local provincial artist.

Most curiously, and as Philip discovered when he had the painting cleaned, the canvas bears the names of each of the musicians and servants (including the dog). Speaking as someone who pays a lot of attention to musical subjects in paintings, its also quite rare to see a struck dulcimer in pictures of this period (!). They are still quite popular in places like Hungary, where they are called a Cimbalom.

Perhaps this lockdown presents the chance for galleries and museums to highlight some of their more puzzling pictures online. Who knows who might be watching.

Click here to read the article (behind a paywall, unfortunately)…

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