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Hunt is on for missing Islington artists

15:09 04 February 2013

Lloyd's Dairy, Amwell Street, Clerkenwell by Alfred Head

Lloyd's Dairy, Amwell Street, Clerkenwell by Alfred Head

Archant

The hunt is on for Islington’s lost artists as some of the borough’s most famous works prepare to be shown.

From next Monday an exhibition featuring the likes of Walter Sickert, Thérèse Lessore and Geoffrey Fletcher go on display at the local history centre as part of Islington in Oil.

Other paintings, by lesser known artists, depict famous Islington areas or landmarks – often from more than 100 years ago.

But the identity of the creative souls behind some the of the work in the collection is a mystery, and despite concerted efforts Mark Aston, manager of the centre, hasn’t been able to track them down.

He said: “ I’m still trying to trace the details of some of the artists featured – sadly no information has been left with the paintings and I’m hoping that exposure may bring forward further biographical details of the artists.

“The display is also a great opportunity to show the artworks to the world, some haven’t been seen for many years, if at all, since their acquisition.”

The exhibition is part of a nationwide project with the BBC and the Public Catalogue Foundation, to create a record of every oil painting in the country.

Islington has a long history of professional artists who were attracted here as far back as the early 19th century.

In those days it was a borough of contrasts, with industrialised Clerkenwell and Finsbury in the south and semi-rural Highbury and Holloway to the north.

As it is now, the Upper Street area was a place of eating, drinking and entertainment, with plenty to inspire the artist.

Islington’s many residential squares and terraced villas, and proximity to the City, offered a convenient location for them to live and work.

The exhibition runs until April 13.

To have a look more images to see if you can shed some light on the painter, visit:

www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings

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