Tatton Park portrait confirmed to be the work of a renowned Venetian artist Rosalba Carriera

The painting has been at Tatton Park for centuries, but it's only just confirmed to have been painted by Rosalba Carriera Credit: Tatton Park

A portrait discovered in a storage room in Tatton Park has been found to be an original painting by a world-famous Venetian artist.

Portrait of a Tyrolese Lady was long thought to be a copy of Rosalba Carriera's work, but research from New York curator Xavier Salomon confirmed it was a genuine piece.

Carolyn Latham, Mansion and Collection Manager at Tatton Park, said: "Xavier saw the piece in our private collection listings, and reached out saying he'd like to examine it."

He found a hidden Santini in the frame of the painting. Carriera was known to slip these prayers into the frame of her paintings when they were being shipped to a buyer.

The Santini that was found in the back of the painting Credit: Tatton Park

This helped confirm the piece was genuine, and is a rare find as many of the Santini's have been lost.

Carolyn said: "He was very certain based off the pastel colours, but the Santini just helped confirm it! It's quite easy for them to get separated so it's a lovely find."

Once he confirmed it was painted by Carriera, the Tatton Park's mansion team began conservation work on the pastel piece so it could be displayed to the public.

The required work included lining the frame, installing a new backboard, and adding corks to help with spacing.

Once restoration was complete, the Santini was slipped back into the frame just as it was found.

Carolyn said: "We have pictures of it on display, but it had been there so long we didn't want to separate it from the painting especially when it's so rare for them to stay together.

"Visitors have been loving looking at it this morning! It’s such a delicate work and you can see so much detail."

The conservation team will then work on finding it a permanent home where it can be preserved while still being viewable to the public.

The portrait will be on display for the rest of Autumn Credit: Tatton Park

Carolyn said: "Pastels are very tricky to display because UV light can damage them. We have to keep them away from the windows.

"After our spring season next year, we'll find a dark corner to keep it in."

Rosalba Carriera, who was born in Venice in 1675, is considered to be one of the most famous female painters in history.

She is known for introducing her unique style of using pastel colours and spontaneous brush strokes in her pieces.

The painting will be on display from Wednesday 27 September for the first time in over 50 years.

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