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Famous Torre Abbey painting off to Russia

By HETinaCrowson  |  Posted: February 05, 2013

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Torre Abbey's most prized painting Holman Hunt's The Children's Holiday is to visit Russia after having spent some time in The Tate as part of a Pre-Raphaelite exhibition.


The Children's Holiday which has been on show at The Tate since last September will now move to the Pushkin State Musuem of Fine Arts in Moscow.  It will return to Torre Abbey in October once it has reopened after completion of the Phase II Restoration project.


The Tate exhibition presented the Pre-Raphaelites as an avant-garde movement.  Boldly original in style and conception, the Pre-Raphaelites made a profound contribution to the history of modern art.


The Children's Holiday was exhibited in a section entitled 'Modern Life' as it is believed Hunt attempted to capture snapshots of class and leisure behaviour of the time.


Torbay's Mayor Gordon Oliver said: "Torbay is steeped in history and culture and it is fitting that Torre Abbey is home to this wonderful piece of art.  By loaning this magnificent painting we are able to share its beauty here and abroad."


Executive Lead for Culture and Arts Cllr Dave Butt said:  "As a founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Holman's work epitomises this art movement and so it is only right that The Children's Holiday can be exhibited with other family pieces from time to time."


Alison Smith, Lead Curator, British Art to 1900, Tate Britain, said: "Tate Britain is delighted that Torre Abbey is able to support the tour of the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition to Moscow with the loan of this important work from its collection."


Part of the loan agreement included restoration work undertaken by The Tate on the painting's frame.


Torre Abbey is one of the best preserved medieval monasteries in Devon and Cornwall. The site is home to the famous 'Spanish Barn' - a medieval tithe barn originally built to store taxes paid to the Abbey in the form of grain and hay. The Abbey, also a museum and art gallery, houses an impressive art collection including pieces by William Blake and Edward Burne-Jones.


Since its foundation in 1196, Torre Abbey has witnessed, survived and even played a role in some epic moments of history. It is one of the best buildings in the country to tell the story of 800 years of Catholicism between 1196 and 1930. 


Phase II restoration has included these stories and other important local stories and milestones in history.  Torre Abbey will also continue to be home to many other pieces of fine art.


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