Beale & Son Acquired by Tate Britain

June 6 2024

Video: Philip Mould & Co

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I made a trip to Tate's recently opened Now You See Us exhibition yesterday afternoon, and what a visual feast it was. One of the first great surprises was the fact that Tate have just acquired Mary Beale's Portrait of Anne Sotheby, a picture which was only recently uncovered by Philip Mould & Co. in their exhibition as a collaboration between Mary and her son Charles (watch Lawrence Hendra above explaining its significance). A very fine acquisition indeed, which complimented the nice array of her works on display there.

The show is full of some very interesting pictures, many of which I've only ever seen poor black and white photographs of. One of the most striking features of the show is how many of the paintings on display remain nestled away in private collections, supplemented by loans predominantly it seems from The Royal Collection and other aristocratic sources mixed in with works from the trade. One wonders whether the ever-increasingly high prices for such rare and important works might tempt more pieces out into the open in due course.

Among the highlights was seeing this very refined Self Portrait by Katherine Read, who is well represented in the show with both oils and pastels. I would recommend having a read through Neil Jeffares' entry on the artist for his Pastellists website, which remarkably remains one of the most thorough and scholarly accounts of her life to date!

The show will run until 13th October 2024.

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