Companion portraits reunited at Dulwich

  • 17 December 2010

Dulwich Picture Gallery has bought Portrait of Bartholomew Beale by Sir Peter Lely as it prepares for its Bicentenary year.

Dulwich Picture Gallery has bought Portrait of Bartholomew Beale by Sir Peter Lely, a portrait that has now reunited with its counterpart, A Boy as a Shepherd, one of the most popular paintings in the permanent collection. The news comes as the historic Gallery prepares for its Bicentenary year.

Portrait of Bartholomew Beale was obtained for a total of £230,000, of which we contributed £90,000.

The portrait was discovered when Dulwich Picture Gallery’s curator Dr. Xavier Salomon came across it for sale at a London dealer. He recognised at once its link to Lely’s A Boy as a Shepherd, a painting which was given to the Gallery at its Centenary in 1911 by benefactor Charles Fairfax Murray. It was part of a donation of 40 paintings, which included four works by Sir Peter Lely. Murray had once owned both portraits and they both have spectacular matching frames. However, Portrait of Bartholomew Beale had already been sold from the collection by 1911. It remained in private hands until it was sold to the dealers Simon Dickinson Ltd. in January 2009.

Our director Stephen Deuchar said: “With its rich tones, this stunning painting will look wonderful set against Boy as a Shepherd and other Dulwich gems. We thank our members for their ongoing support – helping us make our contribution towards this timely purchase.”

Portrait of Bartholomew Beale is on show from today.