Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

How Artist Carved out a Little Deception

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

How Artist Carved out a Little Deception

Article excerpt

Byline: By Tony Henderson

When popular North-East artist Ralph Hedley painted a picture of St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle, the crowning glory was the bishop's throne.

But research suggests that Hedley had to use more than a little artistic licence when he portrayed the enthronement of Ernest Roland Wilberforce as the first Bishop of Newcastle in 1882.

For the throne shown in the painting had yet to be carved at Hedley's workshop.

The picture will be sold today at Anderson & Garland's auction rooms in Westerhope, Newcastle, when it is expected to fetch pounds 500-pounds 800.

Ernest Wilberforce was the grandson of MP William Wilberforce, who led the campaign against slavery.

Newcastle became a city in 1882 and in the same year the diocese of Newcastle was created and St Nicholas, previously the parish church, became a cathedral.

Picture specialist John Anderson said: "Research suggests that Hedley decided to insert in the painting a throne which his workshop in Newcastle was commissioned to build some time later ( effectively advertising its skill in advance of an order that would not only encompass the throne but much of the wood-carved interior of the cathedral we see today. …

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