How Edward VIII borrowed paintings from the National Gallery Automatic translate
King Edward VIII, at one time borrowed seven masterpieces from the National Gallery in London, including paintings by artists such as Canaletto and Jan van Os. Edward VIII abdicated the British throne in 1936 after he ruled the country for only ten months due to the fact that he was not allowed to marry a divorced American Wallis Simpson. Then, while still a prince of Wales, he wanted paintings to decorate his rooms in St. James’s Palace.
Edward’s short-lived but intense relationship with the National Gallery is described in a book that was recently released in Canada. "Stewards of the Nation’s Art: Contested Cultural Authority 1890-1939," written by Andrea Geddes-Poole, an assistant professor at the University of Trent in Ontario, is also available electronically. Another writer and historian, Michael Savage, emphasizes in his blog: “The future King Edward VIII was a trustee of the National Gallery for a short time. But I had no idea that the National Gallery responded to his request and provided several artworks for his home. ”
Documents confirming this have been preserved in archival materials. In 1930, Edward was appointed a member of the Board of the Council. “The Prince of Wales has gathered for the National Gallery’s board meeting today,” writes Lord Lindsay in a special circular describing the daily official duties of the royal family members. “He hit us pretty hard. Around the middle of the meeting, which seemed to be very important, he obviously started to get bored, lit a cigarette and talked animatedly with his neighbors… As far as I could understand, this was mainly chatter about racing and society, ”continues Lord Crawford.
In November 1930, the Prince of Wales requested seven paintings from the National Gallery on credit. He planned to hang them in his apartment in the palace of St. James. A spokesman for the National Gallery then said: “The Director… was informed of the request of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales for the allocation of seven paintings to him. The Board of Trustees authorized the selection. ” Among these seven were such masterpieces as “Venice: The Doge’s Palace” and “Riva degli Schiavoni” written in the 1730s by Canaletto, “Fruits, Flowers, and Fish” ( Fruit, Flowers and a Fish), 1772, Jan van Hos, and The Eendracht and a Fleet of Dutch Men-of-war by Ludolf Bakhuizen, written in 1670.
A little later, the assistant to the prince, Cooper Thomas, in a letter to the then director of the National Gallery, Charles Holmes, expressed some concern about the fate of the paintings, which were allegedly taken to another royal residence. Holmes tactfully replied that “there should be no ambiguity, and when the Prince of Wales no longer needs [the work], they will be returned to the gallery.”
The situation was finally resolved in 1936, when Lord Crawford wrote in his diary: “The other day, the Duke of York [Brother Edward, future King George VI] told the Director of the National Gallery that he intends to repair his house, and thought it would be safer to place a row his paintings in the gallery for this period. ” The director of the gallery, Crawford emphasized, had no idea that the paintings that had been handed over to the Prince of Wales were by then the property of the Duke of York. “And then it was discovered that the inventory numbers and labels of the National Gallery were removed from the paintings.” In the end, the work safely returned to the gallery.
Anna Sidorova © Gallerix.ru
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