Rare opportunity to view The Radev collection at Victoria Art Gallery
A rare opportunity to view a stunning collection of modern British and French art is available at Bath & North East Somerset Council's Victoria Art Gallery this autumn.
The Victoria Art Gallery is pleased to announce that its temporary autumn exhibition in the large gallery will be 'The Radev Collection: from ****arro to Picasso', which runs from 8 September to 18 November 2012.
The collection is named after Mattei Radev, who reached Britain in 1950 as a stowaway escaping Communist Bulgaria. He drew on all his hard work and skill to become a prominent picture framer; befriending Eddy Sackville-West (the fifth Baron Sackville) and Eardley Knollys, both avid art collectors.
The collection shines a light on a remarkable 20th century story of love, friendship and gay relationships interspersing well-known names including Jean Cocteau, EM Forster and members of the Bloomsbury group.
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Councillor Cherry Beath (Lib-Dem, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: "For a collection of this quality to remain intact for over 70 years is almost unheard of today, and a wonderful tribute to the strong friendships that endured between its founders.
"We hope people will take advantage of this rare treat at Bath & North East Somerset Council's Victoria Art Gallery to view unseen works by Amedeo Modigliani, Georges Braque, Ben Nicholson, Graham Sutherland, John Piper, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and many other famous artists."
On reaching London in 1950, Radev held down a series of dead-end jobs. His life changed when, working as an orderly at Whittington hospital in north London, he met the eye surgeon and gay rights activist Patrick Trevor-Roper.
This turn of events found him soon lodging in the grand terrace house of the gallery owner Robert Wellington on Regent's Park. It was through this that Radev learned the art of picture framing and created a flourishing business. In 1960, Radev met EM Forster and, despite the 46 years difference, they fell in love.
A free tour of the exhibition with the Victoria Art Gallery Manager Jon Benington will take place on Friday 9 November from 1pm-1.45pm. Booking is not required.
The Victoria Art Gallery, near Pulteney Bridge in Bath, is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sundays 1.30pm to 5pm and closed on Mondays. Attendance is free. For more details call 01225 477233 or visit the Gallery's website www.victoriagal.org.uk.
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