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Discovering them, in a closet in a house in Banagher, in Ireland, grooved with lines, having been folded for a long time, was M. A. Nicholls, second wife of the widow of Charlotte Brontë. The news was greeted with amazement as it was thought that the portraits of the Brontë sisters had been lost forever. It was March 6, 1914 and the front page of the popular magazine Daily Graphic announced the important news, “The Romantic Discovery of the Lost Brontë Portraits". Along with the article, the illustration of some visitors inspecting the two damaged portraits of the Brontë sisters, hung for the first time at the National Portrait Gallery. The rediscovery of these works, considered long lost, made a great story and the public was wild about it. Both works were painted by Branwell Brontë, brother of Charlotte, Emily and Anne. That of Emily is the only surviving image of a larger group portrait which included the other sisters and Branwell, depicted brandishing a pistol. It was also rather unusual that the museum would buy such damaged portraits and there were many heated arguments over their quality. The first day of their exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, there were so many visitors that, according to the Yorkshire Observer, the museum “suffered a minor siege”. These two paintings are still among the most popular anywhere in all of London.
More than 50 artists, half a millennium of art and the immense variety of the planet’s cultures - a fascinating journey awaits at the Camden Art Centre, exploring the intimate tie between humans and plants.
Protest and Tenderness - Zanele Muholi at the Tate Modern
Over 260 photos retrace the entire career of the South African activist, documenting their multifaceted life as an outspoken part of South Africa’s gay, lesbian, trans, queer and intersexual community.