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We knew we had some wonderful stories to discover on the backs of our paintings. A decision was taken to exhibit 6 of them backwards for the first months of the season. More information continues to be uncovered about our fabulous collection.

The back of our painting with a letter and seals on

The back of our painting with a letter and seals on

One of Upton’s paintings, Philip the Fair, has a label on the back written in French. Jane, one of our volunteers, has translated the letter. This gives a new meaning to our understanding and adds a new layer to the painting’s history.

Philip the Fair

Philip the Fair

Philip the Fair was Archduke of Austria and son of the Emperor Maximilian. In 1504 he became King of Castile and Leon, and Philip I of Spain. This picture was probably painted just after his marriage to Joanna the Mad (the second daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Castile) in 1496.

Portrait of

Philip 1st (the Handsome)

Archduke of Austria and King of Castile

2nd son of Maximilian 1st Emperor of Germany

and of Maria  of Burgundy daughter of

Charles the Bold

Born in  Burgos *  on 22nd July 1478

The letter on the back gives an outline of the life of Philip the Fair – his marriage and his death. There is also mention of other versions of this portrait. But why was the note written? Who has owned the painting in the past?

The back of the painting

The back of the painting

Our interest is constantly kept alive by the opinions offered by paintings experts and enhanced by the research conducted by our volunteers.

Now that we have the paintings back in the Picture Gallery, what will you discover next time you visit?