Treasured 19th century painting by Warwick artist will be going on display in Leamington

Local art experts hope it will highlight their mission to help restore the rare artwork

The Madonna della Seggiola after Raphael, painted by Laura Cookes in 1891, will be on display at Leamington Art Gallery and Museum (LAG&M) between May and September.
The Madonna della Seggiola after Raphael, painted by Laura Cookes in 1891, will be on display at Leamington Art Gallery and Museum (LAG&M) between May and September.

A treasured painting by a Warwick artist will be going on display in Leamington.

And local art experts hope it will highlight their mission to help restore the 19th century artwork.

The Madonna della Seggiola after Raphael, painted by Laura Cookes in 1891, will be on display at Leamington Art Gallery and Museum (LAG&M) between May and September.

The Madonna della Seggiola after Raphael, painted by Laura Cookes in 1891, will be on display at Leamington Art Gallery and Museum (LAG&M) between May and September.

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The hanging is part of a ‘Conversation in Focus’ exhibit and will highlight to visitors the urgent conservation treatments needed to repair a crack in the painting, restore its spectacular frame and remove discoloured varnish.

The artwork has been selected by the (LAG&M) and the Friends of Leamington Art Gallery and Museum (FLAG) to receive conservation funding through the Friends’ new ‘Adopt an Artwork’ scheme.

This is a new membership offer of £10 (standard subscription) plus £40 to support conservation work on this specific painting and frame.

FLAG members supporting the new subscription level will also have the opportunity to adopt an individual artwork from those to be hung in the gallery from February 2022. Each sponsor will be invited to a reception at the gallery to select their artwork and their contribution will be recognised by a small plaque beneath the chosen work.

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The Madonna della Seggiola after Raphael has been the subject of much research by eminent scholar Dr Sharon Fermor and her findings will support this display.

Dr Fermor said: “In 1891 a Warwick artist, Laura Cookes, painted a copy of Raphael’s The Madonna della Seggiola which she donated to the Leamington Free Public Library. The painting is a rare survival of a copy of an Old Master made not for money or display in a private collection but donated to a public educational body.”

As part of this display Dr Fermor will be giving a talk about her research. The gallery plan to re-display The Madonna della Seggiola after Raphael when it has returned from conservation in the context of other copies by female artist in the 19th century in Leamington’s collection. This exhibition will be supported by a small publication by Dr Fermor.

Further information on www.friendsofleamingtonartgallery.co.uk