The Public Catalogue Foundation is becoming an essential link for art historical research. The Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire volume includes all of the oil paintings in public ownership in Worcestershire.
The PCF are investigating the need by public collections for more art historical expertise, with a conference (pdf file) at the National Gallery.
Art Historian Bendor Grosvenor has started delving into some of the most intriguing unattributed paintings in the PCF catalogues (including this one) with impressive success and is speaking at the conference.
Portrait of a Gentleman is an intriguing painting from Worcester City’s collection about which little is known. The canvas and paint surface are in poor condition but the man’s face is still compelling. The crest is found on all of a group of paintings donated by the Rev G.D. Bowles in 1850 and on the reverse these paintings originally had a pasted slip saying ‘Presented to the Worcerstershire Natural History Society through their President Sir Charles Hastings (illegible) by George Downing Bowles, clerk m. a. (illegible) of the Shrubbery, Great Malvern, Oct. 1st 1850’. The year 1544 is found on the ‘sign’ in the top right corner.