William Hogarth works at London’s oldest hospital to be restored | William Hogarth

by AryanArtnews
0 comment
William Hogarth works at London’s oldest hospital to be restored | William Hogarth

Two paintings by William Hogarth on the walls of a grand staircase at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London are to be restored with the help of a £4.9m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Hogarth, an artist, critic and satirist, depicted two biblical stories in the works, the Pool of Bethesda and the Good Samaritan, in the 1730s. They have 2.1 meter (7 ft) tall figures, some drawn from real life.

The paintings will be restored as part of a project to preserve and rejuvenate the art collections and historic buildings of the City of London Hospital, known as Barts. The spaces include the Grade I listed north wing, which has a great hall and staircase decorated by Hogarth.

The artist, who was born in 1697 in Bartholomew Close, near the hospital, was furious to discover that an Italian painter, Jacopo Amigoni, had been invited to paint the staircase. Hogarth stepped in to offer his services for free, even though he had never painted on such a scale.

The pool of Bethesda depicts a man who has been unable to walk for years and is healed by Jesus. Hogarth’s painting contains sympathetic portraits of people suffering from illness and injury. The conditions of patients of the hospital, such as gout, rickets and jaundice, are recognizable to the trained eye. The painting is still used as an educational tool.

Hogarth requested that the canvases never be varnished. But when they were cleaned in the 1930s, seven layers of varnish were removed. They were cleared again in the 1960s.

Now, specialist cleaning and conservation is required to correct structural problems caused by the wooden “streetcher” framework behind the canvases.

The stairwell will also undergo extensive work to restore it to its former glory, including the restoration and strengthening of the wooden staircase and the preservation of the 18th-century chandelier.

Will Palin, chief executive of the Barts Heritage charity, said: “The Hogarth Staircase is a real ‘hidden treasure’ and is just one element of our ambitious project, which will see the much-needed restoration of one of the most important historic hospital combine. buildings in the UK with a pioneering heritage and health programme.”

Eilish McGuinness, the chief executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said the paintings were “truly a treasure to marvel at”.

Barts is the oldest hospital in Britain, providing free healthcare on the same site for nearly 900 years.

Related Posts