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Painting not seen for 40 years goes on display at Russell-Cotes Museum
A PAINTING not seen for 40 years is on display in Bournemouth as part of a national campaign.
The picture at Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum is one of a number of publicly-owned oil paintings to go on show across the South of England to celebrate the completion of Your Paintings, a website for the UK national collection of oil paintings.
The site has been created by the BBC in partnership with the Public Catalogue Foundation and all 211,861 paintings it features are now available to view online at bbc.co.uk/yourpaintings.
Held in more than 3,000 galleries and museums around the country, these paintings span more than 600 years of art history but, due to limitations of exhibition space, 80 per cent of the works are normally held in storage and not easily visible to the UK public.
The painting at the Russell-Cotes was donated by Joseph Lucas, a lamp manufacturer and the founder of Lucas Industries.
It joins an 18th century oil painting portrait of a young army officer from 1760, which has not been on display for around a decade. When the painting was first bought by the gallery it was thought that it was painted by Sir William Beechey and the museum had a plaque made to go on the front of the frame.
But an expert who examined the painting recently believes it may be by Angelica Kauffmann.
Andrew Ellis from the Public Catalogue Foundation said: “No other country has ever embarked on such a project to make accessible online its entire collection of oil paintings.
“The result is an extraordinary rich and varied virtual gallery of paintings with styles and subject matters to suit all tastes and interests.”