Gallery acquires rare painting
8:40am Sunday 7th October 2012 in News
Falmouth Art Gallery has been successful in its fundraising campaign to raise £55,000 to acquire a rare oil painting by Anne Killigrew (1660-1685).
The final funds were raised through a £9,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards the purchase and a celebratory community education project.
Anne Killigrew worked at the Royal Court of King James II as Lady-in-Waiting to the Queen, Mary of Modena. Although she was born in London, Anne’s family history is firmly rooted in Falmouth.
Anne’s grandfather, Sir Robert Killigrew, was the Governor of Pendennis Castle and was succeeded by his eldest son Sir William after his death in 1567. Sir William’s younger brother, Dr Henry Killigrew, was Anne’s father and worked in London, first as chaplain to King Charles I and later as master of the Savoy Hospital.
The painting, entitled “Venus attired by the Three Graces”, dates back to the 1680s. It shows Venus, the goddess of love, being dressed by her attendants, the Three Graces, in a woodland scene with mythological creatures.
Anne Killigrew’s exceptional qualities as an artist and a poet were highly praised in her lifetime.
The gallery raised £55,000 in total with the rest of the funding coming through Falmouth Town Council, grants from The Art Fund, MLA V/A Purchase Grant Fund, the Beecroft Bequest and donations from NADFAS, Constantine Arts Society and members of the public.
Art Gallery director Louise Connell says, “This painting is extremely rare, being one of only three in existence by Anne Killigrew, and was painted shortly before she died of smallpox at the young age of 26.
“We are absolutely delighted that we are able to house this important painting in Falmouth and would like to thank all of the funders and generous members of the public who have supported our fundraising campaign.”
The grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will support an impressive programme of activities to enable the local community to understand and appreciate the importance of the painting, the artist and the period during which she lived.
The painting will be on display in the Permanent Gallery until November 12, 2012 and will go back on display in January 2013.
Falmouth Art Gallery is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm, including bank holidays. Admission is free.