Research on 1,000 paintings makes hundreds of new discoveries

June 7, 2013

New research and detailed records of over 1,000 paintings have gone online as part of an ongoing project to research over 22,000 artworks held in public collections around the UK.

The National Inventory of Continental European Paintings (NICE Paintings) project is cataloguing and digitising all of the pre-1900 Continental European oil paintings in the UK's public collections and making them available to the public, alongside new supporting information.

The project is uncovering new information about many important works including most recently, reattributing important works by Tintoretto, Henry Fuseli, Francois Boucher and Frans Snyders among others (more information available on request).

The NICE Paintings project is part of the National Inventory Research Project (NIRP), which is based at the University of Glasgow. It aims to boost public interest in the UK's art collections and support researchers and curators in museums and other public collections in the UK.

All paintings and supporting information have been made available online for free educational use in collaboration with VADS at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA). The information is also being made available through the BBC's website Your Paintings.

In recent years the project has re-attributed or re-identified over 200 of the paintings at the Victoria and Albert Museum including, most notably, a previously unidentified work by the great Venetian artist Tintoretto. An exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 'Research on Paintings: Technical Art History and Connoisseurship' (running until 22 September 2013), highlights 10 of the most interesting discoveries.

This latest phase of the project has worked on over 940 paintings from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), Apsley House, and the Royal Academy of Art, London. It also includes a further 210 records and images resulting from work at the Barber Institute, University of Birmingham, carried out by the Neil MacGregor Exhibition and Collections Research Scholar, and at the Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow.

Andrew Greg, who is the National Inventory Research Project Director, based at the University of Glasgow, said: "Non-British paintings are sometimes a comparatively neglected aspect of a museum's collections and we also recognised that few museums have complete up-to-date catalogues of their picture collections. Researching in the UK's smaller regional collections has previously been the priority and focus of NIRP's activities but we are now working with some of the UK's larger collections such as the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal Academy to ensure that their collection is updated and made more accessible to the public.

"We are delighted with the progress we are making and I would like to thank all of the museums that have so far worked with us, their cooperation is crucial to the success of this project. We believe that the National Inventory Research Project could be a model for future collaborations between national museums, regional museums and the academic world."

Explore further: Online museum showcases Britain's hidden art

Related Stories

Online museum showcases Britain's hidden art

November 15, 2012

Britain has some of the best galleries in the world, but the vast majority of the oil paintings in public ownership have for decades been hidden away in private offices or storage. Until now.

Google Art Project premieres upgrades in Chicago

April 3, 2012

(AP) -- High technology merged with high culture Tuesday at The Art Institute of Chicago when Google Inc. announced an upgrade to its Google Art Project initiative, adding thousands of works in dozens more countries.

Recommended for you

Science: Public interest high, literacy stable

October 28, 2016

While public interest in science continues to grow, the level of U.S. scientific literacy remains largely unchanged, according to a survey by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.

Experts uncover hidden layers of Jesus' tomb site

October 27, 2016

In the innermost chamber of the site said to be the tomb of Jesus, a restoration team has peeled away a marble layer for the first time in centuries in an effort to reach what it believes is the original rock surface where ...

Important ancient papyrus seized from looters in Israel

October 27, 2016

(—Eitan Klein, a representative of the Israel Antiquities Authority, has announced that an important papyrus document dated to 2,700 years ago has been seized from a group of Palestinian looters who reportedly ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (1) Jun 07, 2013
Too bad the painting images are so small.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.