A POPULAR Solihull tourist attraction has bought back a painting after it left the house over 100 years ago.
But it didn’t go far - given to the nuns at Poor Claire’s Convent just a mile away by the artist Rebecca Dering, this large canvas has remained within the enclosed order of Catholic nuns. As the nuns lived in relative isolation from the outside world, the painting has been seen by very few people in the last 100 years.
Following the closure of the convent in January 2011 and a sale of the contents, the National Trust have been able to buy back the painting.
Staff from Baddesley attended the public viewing and auction, held at Biddle & Webb Auctioneers in Birmingham, on Friday April 1. After some furious bidding, they successfully bought the painting with thanks to the Solihull National Trust Association for generously donating a significant proportion of the £1,250 paid.
Stephen Spinks, Operations Manager said: “Given the painting’s local links and the fact that since its creation by Rebecca it has always remained in the village of Baddesley Clinton, either in the house or Convent, we felt it was important to purchase it to add to the collection.”
Rebecca Dering lived at Baddesley in Victorian times with her husband, her aunt and aunt’s husband. They were a creative group and produced works of art and had fictional and religious books published as well as mixing with the great and the good. They were responsible for restoring the house and garden after a period of decline, preferring to live in romantic isolation away from the modern world.
The house, gardens, restaurant and gift shop at Baddesley Clinton are open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 5pm until January 1, 2012.