Castle painting returns to Cardiff after 128 years

  • Published 7 August 2006

A watercolour of Cardiff Castle's clock tower, recently acquired by Cardiff Council with an Art Fund grant, is to be exhibited in public for the first time since 1878.

The work was painted by Herman Axel Haig as a commission for the architect William Burges, who was responsible for the restoration of Cardiff Castle in the 19th century. It was purchased for £32,500, with a £5,000 contribution from Art Fund. Additional funding came from the V&A/MLA Purchase Grant Fund and the Lord Pontypridd Bequest Fund.

The watercolour was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1870 and later in Paris in 1878. However, since then it has been out of public view, in a collection belonging to David Mallock, the great, great, great, great nephew of William Burges.

Mr Mallock sold the painting to Cardiff Castle following plans to move house, and said he was ‘delighted to find the painting a new long-term home back at Cardiff Castle where more people will be able to appreciate it’.

The work will go on permanent display when the new Burges Gallery opens at the Castle in 2008, and will be exhibited alongside many of Burges’ original drawings for the castle currently not on view to the public.

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