Home news Hidden Stratford-upon-Avon painting to be uncovered

Hidden Stratford-upon-Avon painting to be uncovered

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A historical chapel says it has raised enough funds to reveal part of a medieval wall painting which has been hidden for almost 500 years.The painting, in the Guild Chapel, in Stratford-upon-Avon, was covered with wood panels in the 15th Century.The pictures are believed to owe their survival to the father of the playwright William Shakespeare, who ignored a Royal order to deface them.The charity which runs the chapel hopes to display the picture in January.’Star attraction’The Stratford Town Trust began removing the panels in November 2016 after obtaining a £100,000 Heritage Lottery grant to preserve the painting beneath.

So far it has removed five of the 27 panels and its latest fundraising bid, which has raised £5,000, will allow it to lift two more, subject to listed building consent.The pictures hidden beneath show scenes including the Dance of Death and the Life of Adam.

“The painting we hope to focus on is one of the least documented and studied here – and we are led to believe there could be plenty of detail ready to be seen for the first time since the 16th Century,” said Pippa Brook, the chapel’s volunteer coordinator.The trust said it believes the wall paintings are one of very few almost complete medieval schemes still in situ in Europe.”We hope that by revealing the paintings, we will turn the chapel back into what it always should have been – one of Stratford’s star attractions,” said trust chief executive Justin Williams.

William Shakespeare’s father, John, has been credited with saving the pictures, as he was town bailiff during the Reformation and received the order to remove them.Rather than destroying them as often happened, he painted over them with whitewash.
Source: Warwickshire