A painting believed to be a lost masterpiece by Italian renaissance artist Raphael has been discovered at a stately home in Aberdeenshire.
Art experts from the BBC4’s Britain’s Lost Masterpieces show discovered what is thought to be a painting by renowned Italian painter Raphael from Haddo House.
Nicknamed “the Haddo Madonna”, it was acquired in the 19th century by George Hamilton-Gordon, the 4th Earl of Aberdeen and Prime Minister between 1852 and 1855.
As part of the programme, the artwork was removed and professionally cleaned and conserved by Edinburgh-based conservator Owen Davison, enabling it to undergo detailed investigation.
Also discovered was A Pastoral River Landscape with Fishermen by French artist Claude Lorrain.
Jennifer Melville, head of collections, archives and libraries at the National Trust for Scotland said: “The National Trust for Scotland holds so many treasures all over the country. We always knew that the collection at Haddo was very special, and the discovery of these wonderful pieces confirms its importance in the Scottish art world.
“It is rare for visitors to see works of this quality outwith a gallery, so it is a real treat to come to Haddo House and enjoy them in this wonderful setting.
“This is particularly exciting for the piece which looks likely to be by Raphael. There are not many places where you can experience the work of one of the Renaissance’s giants in a dining room. It is this intimacy which makes exploring our collections quite so special.”
Dr Bendor Grosvenor said: “Finding a possible Raphael is about as exciting as it gets. This is a beautiful picture that deserves to be seen by as many people as possible. I hope ‘the Haddo Madonna’, which would be Scotland’s only publicly owned Raphael, brings many people to this part of Aberdeenshire.”
Eileen E. White