Rare painting in gallery return
A RARE 500-year-old painting is to be put back on display in the town thanks to new funding.
The 15th century renaissance painting was part of the exhibition when West Park Museum, on Prestbury Road, was opened in 1898.
It shows St Catherine of Alexandria who was impaled on a spiked wheel and burned to death during the persecution of Christians in the 4th Century.
St Catherine’s death is still commemorated by the fireworks known as Catherine wheels.
The panel was moved into storage due to its delicate condition but is now set to return thanks to funding from the Association of Independent Museums (AIM), supported by the Pilgrim Trust, which will pay for the cleaning, conservation and rehousing of the panel.
Anna Rhodes, collections manager at Macclesfield Museums, said: “We are very fortunate to have such a rare and significant painting in our collection.
“Not many museums in Britain have Renaissance paintings from the Nuremberg region, so we are very privileged.
“The Nuremberg panel is the oldest painting we have in the collection, so we are delighted it is being preserved for future generations to see.”
It is believed the panel, which was painted by an unknown artist in the German city, would have once been part of a larger altar piece dedicated to St Catherine.
Councillor Les Gilbert, Cheshire East’s Cabinet member for communities, said: “This painting is our link to the great flowering of culture in northern Europe during the Renaissance, upon which modern Western civilisation was based.
“I am very pleased to see that this work of art is being so well looked after in Cheshire East.”
The painting is expected to be back on display at West Park Museum by November. The museum and its collection is managed by Macclesfield Silk Heritage Trust.
For more information see silkmacclesfield.org. uk