New exhibition unlocks the stories behind 17th century painting The Paston Treasure
PUBLISHED: 11:38 23 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:27 23 June 2018
Archant Norfolk 2018
A new exhibition unlocking the stories behind the famous 17th century painting The Paston Treasure opens at Norwich Castle today.
The Paston Treasure: Riches and Rarities of the Known World presents the fruits of a 10-year collaboration between Norwich Castle and the Yale Center for British Art (YCBA) to find out more about the masterpiece which records the lost art collection of the Paston family who once lived at Oxnead Hall in Norfolk.
The exhibition reunites The Paston Treasure with some of the rare works of art the painting depicts and sheds new light on the Paston family, their Norfolk home, and the rise and fall of one of 17th century England’s most important private art collections.
It also displays the recently discovered painting The Paston Prospective, which dates from around 1640, a couple of decades before The Paston Treasure, and features a grand imaginary building that it is thought could have been a vision of what Sir William Paston wanted to create at Oxnead.
Exhibition curator Dr Francesca Vanke said: “A once-in-a-lifetime event, the exhibition tells both a very Norfolk story and a genuinely international one. The painting is not just a typical 17th century still life, but the key to unlocking a fascinating, dramatic and ultimately tragic story: of a family, a collection, and a great house. The first clues to the story are in this painting. They open up a world we never knew existed, for which evidence is scattered worldwide. This exhibition, the result of years of research, brings everything together.”
The exhibition runs until September 23 - visit www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk