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God's gift

Paradise Regained


Inscribed and dated F.E. Church '57 Main Boulder bottom left.

1973 - The old varnish was discoloured but the paint surface was found in good condition. Painted on fine normal weave canvas with approx. 24 threads per cm and the old tacking edges trimmed to fit the new stretcher into its gold-leaf frame.

The old stretcher was slightly warped and replaced in 1974 when the painting was relined but 5 sections have been retained (and 4 framed) with the following marks and labels:
Graphite inscriptions, in Greek which means God's Gift (or Theodore)
A hieroglyph of a Church along with the owners seals and a label reading, 'Must I leave thee, Paradise?' *
2.) A page from Milton's Paradise Regained and a print of Christ's Baptism.
A print of The Risen Christ - from the same (?) 18th century edition.
4.) An Art Dealer's Trade Label.

A section with The Duke's seal has been glued to the new (1974) stretcher on the back of the Painting, where there is also, the Coat of Arms of the present owners.

1974. Relined with traditional hot glue adhesive. Old varnish and repaints along damaged edges were removed - see first footnote above. Some restoration along damaged edges. Re-varnished with Ketone N, cyclohexanone.

2002. Small thumb-sized area slightly damaged, center left in the trees, on 9th May. Damaged area photographed, restored and cleaned by a foremost restorer/conservator (a graduate of Hamilton Kerr, Cambridge University) who works in London for, The Tate, The V&A, and The National Gallery. Lightly cleaned and revarnished with Ketone N, cyclohexanone, a stable and easily removed varnish.

Sight Size:
62.8 cms x 77.7 cms.
24 ins x 30 3/5 ins

Stetcher Size:
65.7 cms x 80.3 cms
25 7/8 ins x 32 3/8 ins

* The title Rocky Forest Pool '57 has come - pre 1973 - from its previous owner. From the inscriptions and prints glued to the old stretcher and with other written evidence it's other titles could perhaps be:
1) Paradise Regained.
2) Eden, rais'd in the waste wilderness, from the first page of Book I of Milton's Paradise Regained, which is glued to the stretcher.
3) The Gift of God, is the meaning of the translation from the Greek, THEODOROS - Theodore in English which is inscribed in graphite on the old stretcher. This might also be a playful reference to Theodore Winthrop who in turn called Church, "Iglesias"- meaning church in Spanish, as there is also a graphite doodle of a church underneath the Greek, Theodoros.
4) Must I thus Leave Thee Paradise? from Milton's Paradise Lost, XI line 269, which is also glued to the stretcher. The inscription is a misquotation because of the omitted, 'thus.' Church used Milton's Paradise Lost (the beginning of Book IX) as the title for Twilight, "short arbiter 'twixt day and night 1850" once known as Twilight.

The titles of his paintings have often changed in the light of more scholarly research, e.g., Scene in the Catskills, was then known and sold as Home by the Lake 1852 and now should be called Home of the Pioneer, thanks to research by Dr. F. Kelly & Dr. Gerald Carr. More research is needed into the title