Last week, I saw a fascinating painting of Nonsuch Palace, on a wall hanging in Epsom Town Hall.
It is a copy of a water colour, roughly A4 in size by Flemish artist Joris Hoefnagel, painted in situ, in 1568.
Described by Professor Martin Biddle as ‘the only surviving impression of what Nonsuch really looked like’. The painting of Nonsuch Palace is also extremely important as one of the very earliest surviving watercolours executed in England.
It is of particular significance, as the painting shows the frescos which surrounded the building. I under stand Joris Hoefnagel was a miniturest, so it is highly likely the frescos in the painting are a true reflection of what was there.
The original painting was auctioned at Christies in 2010, but failed to reach its reserve price of £1.2m.
The wall hanging was used by Christies, to promote the sale of the painting. The wall hanging was then purchased by the Lord of the Manor of Nonsuch Dr Tim Carter and subsequently loaned to Epsom Town Council.
Members of the public are welcome to see the hanging of Nonsuch Palace by Joris Hoefnagel but are asked to contact the Town Hall in advance to make an appointment.
The decision to defer the export licence follows a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), administered by Arts Council England.
They made their recommendation on the grounds of its close association with our history and national life, its outstanding aesthetic importance and its outstanding significance for understanding the nature of English Renaissance architecture.
The decision on the export licence application for the watercolour will be deferred until 31 May.