1. ITV Report

Rare medieval painting found at Shakespeare's Schoolroom

Rare medieval painting of John the Baptist Credit: ITV News Central

A rare medieval painting of John the Baptist has been uncovered in Stratford-upon-Avon during the renovation of Shakespeare's old school.

The conservation team knew that remnants of the 15th century picture remained but did not expect a fully formed figure.

The discovery was made during the restoration of Shakespeare's Schoolroom which will open to the public in April as part of the events marking 400 years since his death.

Conservator Richard Lithgow, whose team made the discovery, said:

“To find this figure is highly significant and beyond our expectations. The painting is a Trinity scheme, with John the Baptist depicted alongside God our Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit.

"Whilst we knew that remnants of the painting remained intact, we were not expecting to reveal a fully formed figure. It was hidden under overpaint on one of the vertical timbers, which is one reason for its well preserved condition.

“It is a very rare moment to find something so well preserved and as historically important as this painting of John the Baptist, which would have been created sometime between 1425 and 1450.”

– Conservator Richard Lithgow