National Portrait Gallery to restore Naval Officers of World War I


London’s National Portrait Gallery reports it has reached its £20,000 target to repair a large painting entitled Naval Officers of World War I.

The gallery plans to display the portrait next year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.

The work has not been seen for several decades because of its poor condition.

Naval Officers of World War I is one of three large group portraits commissioned by the South African millionaire Sir Abe Bailey in the aftermath of World War I.

Bailey’s idea was that these works would be presented to the nation and would commemorate the role of the navy, the army and politicians during the recent global conflict.

Collectively, the group would depict the most distinguished naval commanders, military commanders and statesmen of that era. Stockdale Cope declined the invitation to paint the statesmen, opting instead for the naval commanders, a subject with which he felt greater affinity.

The statesmen were painted by Sir James Guthrie, with John Singer Sargent taking the military commanders. 

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