Support Conservation

Help Us Conserve our Charles Marsh FSA Portrait

£7,000 is needed to conserve, reframe and display Charles Marsh FSA

Charles Marsh Ed (1)This life-size portrait of Charles Marsh was gifted to the Society in 2017. The son of a London bookseller, Marsh attended Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge, before being appointed a clerk at the War Office. In 1784 he was elected Fellow of the Society. A year later he presented a paper to the Society titled ‘On the elegant ornamental cameos of the Barberini vase’, which was subsequently printed in Archaeologia. The vase can be seen in the background of the portrait. Marsh lived at Radnor House, Twickenham and in an apartment on Piccadilly. He died unmarried and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

The portrait is traditionally attributed to Lemuel Francis Abbott, who studied briefly under Thomas Hayman and who, as a Fellow of the Royal Academy, exhibited some fifteen portraits there between 1788 and 1800. Abbott specialised in portraits of diplomats, colonial governors and naval officers. His portraits of Lord Nelson (1797), the poet William Cowper (1792) and the sculptor Joseph Nollekens (c 1797) hang in the National Portrait Gallery.

At present, the painting is too fragile to display. Remedial, necessary conservation to the canvas and the frame is estimated at £10,000. Generous donations totalling £3,000 have already been promised. Treatment would enable the painting to be hung in the Society’s rooms at Burlington House, Piccadilly, close to the place where Marsh lived, to be enjoyed by Fellows, visiting scholars and members of the public on open days, Once conserved, the painting will be available for loan to temporary exhibitions

Professor Maurice Howard FSA  

Donations will be acknowledged on a plaque beside the painting. £3000 has been pledged in support of conservation. We need your help to raise the £7000 shortfall to complete the project.

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