The English Prize
17 May – 27 August 2012
This exhibition tells a grand tale of artistic riches and intrigue on the high seas.
It features highlights from the lavish cargo of the English merchant ship Westmorland, which was siezed in 1779 by the French while laden with the purchases of British Grand Tourists making their way around Italy.
This valuable hoard of antiquities, paintings and objets d'art passed into the spanish royal collection and ended up in the Royal Academy, Madrid. Some virtuosic research in recent years has filled the gaps in the story of what became known as the 'Presa ynglesa' (The English Prize), and, as you will discover, it is now possible to link the objects on display to the people who originally packed them on board the Westmorland.