Cromwell's Troops Desecrating Wells Cathedral
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fine art painting
fine art painting
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fine art painting
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fine art painting

Robert Alexander Hillingford

British, (1828-1904)
Cromwell's Troops Desecrating Wells Cathedral
Oil on canvas, signed

Robert Alexander Hillingford was born in London on 28 January, 1828. In 1841, he moved to Germany to study at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. After 5 years of studying he travelled to Italy visiting Rome, Naples and Florence where he met and married his wife Ciara in 1858. During this time, he produced paintings of Italian life and one of these ‘The Last Evening of the Carnival' was exhibited at St. Petersburg in 1859.

In 1864, he returned with his family to London and began to specialise in historical subjects often including battle scenes. He also produced a number of theatrical scenes and contemporary paintings of the Boer War. He made his debut at the Royal Academy in 1866 exhibiting there regularly throughout his career. He also exhibited at the British Institution, Royal Society of Artists, Birmingham, Glasgow Institute, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, Manchester City Art Gallery, Royal Institute of Oil Painters and Arthur Tooth Gallery.

From 1871 he lived at 30 Scarsdale Villas, in Kensington and by 1878 had moved to Cornwall Lodge in Rowan Road from where he worked and exhibited from until 1892. Hillingford was known for his close attention to accuracy in details of dress and had a collection of original uniforms. He was Vice President of the Kernoozers Club an organisation for collectors of objets d’art and militaria. He died in Fulham in 1904.

During the English Civil War many churches and cathedrals were caught up in the fighting between Royalists and the Roundheads. Their structures held considerable military advantages for offensive and defensive positions and many were used as operational bases. In addition to the damage sustained during the fighting, the churches fixtures and fitting were frequently deliberately removed or destroyed by Parliamentarians for ideological and religious reasons. Cathedrals were especially vulnerable as the Roundhead soldiers often associated their physical symbols with Roman Catholicism or the high church. In late 1642, Wells was used by the Cavaliers as their headquarters for an offensive on Bristol and Bath and became a target for the Roundheads. The Royalists were driven out of Somerset in 1645, but not before Cromwell's soldiers had inflicted deliberate acts of desecration to the Cathedral that included damage to the stonework, furniture, windows and organ.

Examples of his paintings can be found at the Courtauld Institute, Grundy Art Gallery, Glasgow Art Gallery, Victoria Art Gallery, Bath and the Williamson Art Gallery.

Presentation The painting is housed in its original gilt frame which is in excellent condition.
Condition As with all of our original antique oil paintings, this work is offered in ready to hang gallery condition, having been professionally cleaned, restored and revarnished.

Dimensions

Image Size 19.5 inches x 15.75 inches (49.5cm x 40cm)
Framed Size 28.5 inches x 24.75 inches (72.5cm x 63cm)
£4,800.00