Titian's Ghosts at Ham House

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Latest update 06.02.2014 13:24

The Great Staircase at Ham House and Garden, near Richmond, is lined with ten significant paintings in their original frames.
However, discoloured varnishes¿and aged paint layers now require conservation work.

A new 3-year project has begun, including technical analysis to identify the artists’ materials and techniques, funded by us and the Wolfson Foundation.

Victoria Bradley, our House and Collections Manager says:

'In 1623 Ham’s owner, William Murray, accompanied Charles I on a visit to Madrid to find a wife. He came back without a bride, but with a huge admiration of the Spanish royal painting collection, including many works by Titian.

Back in England, Charles began to emulate the Spanish king. Murray followed suit and adorned his new staircase at Ham with copies of the Titian paintings, set in fashionable elaborate frames.'

Exciting replacements
With some of the pictures away for conservation, the empty frames ¿have attracted the interest of Stephen Farthing, artist and Royal Academician, who has created three intriguing new canvases entitled Titian’s Ghosts for temporary display in their place, exploring the theme of copies, and echoing Ham’s ghostly atmosphere.

Titian’s Ghosts will be on view from¿ 8 March to 2 November 2014, open Saturday – Thursday, 12 to 4pm.