Prestigious painting restored to the College
3 May 2012
A 130-year-old oil painting by Sir John Everett Millais, one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, was hung in the drawing room of 170 Queen’s Gate on 18 April.
The painting, known as For the Squire, previously owned by the late Lord Sherfield, a former Chairman of Imperial’s Governing Body, has been loaned to Imperial for a year by Howard Morris, Emeritus Professor of Biological Chemistry, and his wife, Dr Maria Panico (both Life Sciences).
The couple bought the painting at an auction of the Forbes collection in Edinburgh last October. “For me it conjures up memories of the first errand you were sent on,” said Professor Morris. “There is a real sense of responsibility and anticipation in the child’s eyes,” he added.
Professor Morris, who held the position of Head of the Department of Biochemistry (now part of Life Sciences), wanted to loan the painting to the College because of his family’s affiliation with Imperial, as well as the connection to Lord Sherfield. “My wife and I agree that a painting of such quality shouldn’t be kept in private – it’s nice to be able to share it with a wider audience and allow them to enjoy it.”
The painting has been hung next to Lady in the Yellow Dress by Sergei Arsenyevich Vinogradov. Lady Rita O’Nions, wife of Imperial’s Rector, who saw the painting installed, said: “I have always favoured the Lady in the Yellow Dress, but now this one has arrived, I think I have a new favourite!”
— Emily Ross-Joannou, Communications and Development