Damaged Delaroche work on show in London

Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:28pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - A painting by Paul Delaroche believed to have been virtually destroyed in a German air raid on London during World War Two went on display on Tuesday as part of a new exhibition on the French artist.

The large canvas entitled "Charles I Insulted by Cromwell's Soldiers," depicting the British monarch shortly before his execution in 1649, is hanging in the National Gallery in London with heavy shrapnel damage and discoloration clearly visible.

It is in the gallery's free admission area, and organizers

hope it will encourage visitors to pay to see the new show "Painting History: Delaroche and Lady Jane Grey" in the adjacent Sainsbury Wing.

The exhibition is designed to restore the reputation of an artist who, when painting for Paris shows in the 1800s, was hugely popular but whose works, recognizable by their scale and melodrama, fell from grace for much of the following century.

It features what is probably Delaroche's most famous image "The Execution of Lady Jane Grey," itself damaged in a 1928 flood and presumed ruined before being rediscovered in 1973 in almost perfect condition.

The painting continues to be one of the gallery's most popular works to this day.

Also included in the exhibition is the equally dramatic "The Princes in the Tower" (1830), which curator Christopher Riopelle said underlined Delaroche's ability to recreate the drama of a specific moment in history.   Continued...

<p>"The Princes in the Tower" (1830) painting by Paul Delaroche. REUTERS/Paul Delaroche, The Princes in the Tower/Musee du Louvre Paris/National Gallery/Handout</p>