Artwork of the Month - June & July 2015
Nicolas Dobrée (1678-1751)
Artist: unknown artist of the French School, 18th century
Medium: oil on canvas
Status: permanent collection GMAG 2012.35
Paintings sometimes get neglected, and this is particularly true for portraits when people forget the relevance of a past ancestor. Unlike a landscape or a still life, portraits may have little interest to those outside the family - or even within it!
It is for this reason many portraits end up in a neglected state, as seen in the 'before' images of this particular work. Museums often come to the rescue of such paintings as they can be of historical interest. This portrait is of the 18th century merchant Nicolas Dobrée, who played a significant role in the prosperity of the Island.
Written documentation about Guernsey's past is invaluable, but paintings really bring history to life. The conservator Ruth Rolls has transformed this painting, along with Catriona Ellery who restored and re-gilded its original frame. This conservation work allows us to continue to enjoy the visual clues of the past.