Ferens Art Gallery acquires rare Valerio Castello painting

We've helped the gallery acquire this important Baroque masterpiece, which is now in public ownership for the very first time.

Valerio Castello, Tobias Healing the Blind Tobit c.1645-59 © Ferrens Art Gallery

Valerio Castello, Tobias Healing the Blind Tobit c.1645-59

Valerio Castello's Tobias Healing the Blind Tobit will enter public ownership for the very first time, after being purchased by the gallery using the Ferens Endowment Fund, with support from the Arts Council England, Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund and Art Fund.

This mature, multi-figure masterpiece has been on loan to Ferens Art Gallery since 1973, but the poor condition of the work has prevented its display. Our grant also includes funds for an extensive conversation treatment next year, which will allow the piece to finally be exhibited to the public.

The large-scale work epitomises Castello’s style, combining elegant figures and facial types with a distinctive use of broad, lively brushwork and rich, vibrant colours. This is the first painting by a Genoese-born artist to enter the Ferens’ permanent collection, where it will be shown alongside the dynamic polychromed wood sculptures depicting Hercules and Meleager created by his compatriot Antonio Maria Maragliano.

Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund director, said: 'Our trustees agreed unanimously to support efforts to keep this striking picture at the Ferens Art Gallery. It links well with the gallery’s Genoese holdings and also connects with broader themes across the collection.  And we were pleased to offer an additional grant towards the painting’s conservation costs.'

Venue details

Ferens Art Gallery Queen Victoria Square East Yorkshire HU1 3RA 01482 613 902 www.hullcc.gov.uk/museums

Entry details

Free to all

Daily, 10am – 5pm (Thu until 7.30pm, Sun until 4.30pm)

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