Painting ‘swapsies’ brings London art to Dorset

Kingston Lacy painting loaned from National Gallery (C)National Trust

Kingston Lacy painting loaned from National Gallery (C)National Trust

Art lovers in Dorset will be able to view a painting usually only seen in galleries in European capitals after the National Trust’s Kingston Lacy took receipt of a loan from the National Gallery in London for the first time.

‘Homage to Velázquez’ by acclaimed 17th century Italian artist Luca Giordano, will hang in the dining room of Kingston Lacy in Dorset until September as a reciprocal loan for the ‘Judgement of Solomon’ by Sebastiano del Piombo. 

Rob Gray, House and Collections Manager said “This is something of a first for us. There are some wonderful treasures here which people come back to see again and again and they are in demand for loans to exhibitions all over the world. We have often filled gaps with paintings from our reserve collection, held in storage at the house or simply left gaps on the walls. This year we have arranged a reciprocal loan with the National Gallery and as far as we are aware this is the first time Kingston lacy has borrowed a painting from an external organization.” 

Giordano’s painting has had an interesting past, previously being attributed to the great Spanish artist Diego Velázquez himself. The painting evokes the style of Velázquez and may be a direct reference by Giordano to Velázquez’s ‘Las Meninas’. 

The connection between these two paintings is made even more prominent as William Bankes bought a version of ‘Las Meninas’ believing it to be by Velazquez and although currently attributed to his son in law, Del Mazo, the argument over the true artist still raises debate today. The painting remains part of the National Trust collection at Kingston Lacy and currently hangs in the Spanish room next to the dining room. 

Kingston Lacy’s ‘Judgement of Solomon’ painting by Sebastiano del Piombo is on loan to the National Gallery in London as part of their new exhibition: ‘Building the picture: Architecture in Renaissance paintings’ running until 21 September 2014. 

The borrowed painting, ‘Homage to Velázquez’, will be on view to the public at Kingston Lacy, Wimborne until 21 September 2014. 

The house is open every day apart from Tuesdays from 11am – 4pm. Alternatively, find out more about the art collection of Kingston Lacy on an art tour. The next art tour will be on Tuesday 3 June at 2.30pm, cost £10 per person, giving a special chance to see behind the scenes at Kingston Lacy. Booking is essential for the art tour; telephone 01202 883402 (line 8). 

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