Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project to Help Conserve Three Tudor Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in London

Jun 04, 2013

Bank of America Merrill Lynch today announced that the National Portrait Gallery in London will receive funding to conserve three Tudor Portraits through the company’s global Art Conservation Project. This is one of 24 projects in 16 countries around the world that has been selected for grant funding in 2013.

The three portraits being renovated include one of Queen Elizabeth I in her early 40’s, which is thought to be one of only two surviving large portraits associated with Nicolas Hillard. Yellowing varnish on the work has distorted the appearance of the original colour scheme but once properly conserved, the painting will clearly display the skill of Tudor artists.

Also being restored is a portrait of Edward VI by an unknown artist after Hans Holbein the Younger. During the conservation treatment, experts will examine the level of over paint used particularly in the background of the painting.

The third piece being restored is a portrait of Edward VI and the Pope by an unknown artist. Created during the reign of Elizabeth I, it depicts Henry VIII on his deathbed, pointing towards his successor Edward VI. During the restoration process, technical analysis will be undertaken in order to contextualise the production of a fourth painting, a version of the ‘Armada Portrait’ of Elizabeth I.

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project was introduced in 2010 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and expanded to the Americas, Asia and Australia in 2012. To date, it has funded the conservation of more than 57 projects in 25 countries around the world. The full list of 2013 recipients is below.

“Art has a unique ability to connect people and communities and to help economies thrive,” said Rena DeSisto, global Arts and Culture executive at Bank of America. "The works of art we have selected as part of the 2013 Art Conservation Project can provide a lasting reflection of people and history. As a company with clients in over 100 countries, we are funding the preservation of these important works to contribute to the cultural enrichment and advancement of future generations."

Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s support for the arts is diverse and global, and includes loans from its art collection to museums at no cost, sponsorships and grants to arts organisations for arts education and other projects and the preservation of cultural treasures.

“We recognise and welcome the role we can play in economic regeneration, particularly in difficult times when obtaining public funding for the arts is challenging,” said Andrea Sullivan, head of Corporate Responsibility for Europe and Emerging Markets (ex-Asia) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

“Through the company’s unique Art Conservation Project we are able to connect capital with need and support important museum conservation projects which, due to budget constraints, might not otherwise be possible. It is wonderful to collaborate once again with the National Portrait Gallery to help conserve these historically significant Tudor works. We hope their restoration will educate and inspire generations to come.”

According to Sandy Nairne, director at the National Portrait Gallery in the UK, “This grant allows us to undertake vital conservation treatment and analysis in order to obtain a deeper understanding of these important portraits. The funding makes it possible for future generations from around the world to enjoy these important paintings from the Tudor period for years to come.”

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