One of the most popular paintings at Guildhall Art Gallery will return to public view this week, after being on tour for a few years in exhibitions about the life and work of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

La Ghirlandata – cropped

Described by the Pre-Raphaelite artist and poet as “my very best picture”, La Ghirlandata was loaned to Tate Britain for The Rossettis exhibition in London and the Delaware Art Museum.

The oil painting, made in 1873, depicts ‘the garlanded woman’ playing an arpanetta and looking directly at the viewer. The artist’s muse for the central figure was the actor and model, Alexa Wilding, with two ‘angels’ in the top corners posed by William and Jane Morris’ youngest daughter, May Morris.

La Ghirlandata was acquired by the City of London Corporation in 1927 for its permanent art collection and is usually displayed in the gallery’s main Victorian exhibition space.

In 2018, Bank of America awarded an Art Conservation Grant to the City Corporation to facilitate an extensive restoration of the painting. The grant enabled conservators to undertake the restoration, which included scientific paint analysis and visual imaging to examine, test, and treat the painting and its frame.

The painting on display at Tate Britain

The painting will be reinstalled at the City of London’s Guildhall Art Gallery on International Women’s Day — Friday 8th March — with free family activities at the gallery on Saturday (9th March) to help celebrate the work’s return.

The Guildhall Art Gallery is open daily from 10:30am to 4pm and is free to visit.

Apart from the art collection, there’s also the Roman Apitheatre in the basement, and also the Heritage Gallery, whcih is currently displaying images from Billingsgate Market.


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One comment
  1. Feri says:

    Thank you for providing such amazing information, which was explained so clearly. It should be noted that you made an ingenious choice in selecting this painting.

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