Dorchester auctioneer spots two lost Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces

Three major works by Rossetti identified by Duke’s auctioneer Guy Schwinge (Gareth Jones Photography

Three major works by Rossetti identified by Duke’s auctioneer Guy Schwinge (Gareth Jones Photography) - Credit: Gareth Jones

Two Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces by the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti are to go on display after being hidden from public view for more than a century.

They were spotted hanging in a private house by Guy Schwinge from Duke’s auction house in Dorchester.

A third painting by Rossetti, of his main patron Frederick Leyland (a Liverpool-born ship owner and art collector), was also uncovered and all are now on loan to The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool until 5 June as part of the ‘Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion’ exhibition.

Guy Schwinge said: “To find a single Rossetti in a house is quite exceptional. To find two major works by the artist and a portrait of his greatest patron is almost unbelievable.”

The paintings include ‘The Salutation of Beatrice’, which is regarded as one of Rossetti’s last masterpieces and depicts his muse, Jane Morris. The other work is a portrait of Leyland’s beautiful auburn-haired wife entitled ‘The Monna Rosa’.

Guy has a reputation for discovering lost masterpieces. Previously, he identified a pair of small paintings on panel behind the bedroom door of a house in Oxford, which turned out to be lost works by the Renaissance Master Fra Angelico. These were subsequently sold at auction by Duke’s for almost £2 million.

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