Rare paint­ing in gallery re­turn

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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