29 October 2014

The "Pillar portrait" of the Bronte sisters

"Anne is on the left with Emily in the centre and Charlotte on the right. Originally, their brother, Branwell, had begun painting himself in the picture but ultimately decided to paint himself out by replacing his image with a 'pillar'. This must have been done before the painting was completed as recent x-rays, which clearly show his image, indicate that it is incomplete. Badly mixed oil paints can have a tendency to become translucent with age, and as a result of Branwell's inexperience in this area, his own ghostly image can now be seen 'in the pillar'. 
The original is on display in the National Portrait Gallery, London

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