Hogarth's ‘The Wollaston Family’
The unframed ‘The Wollaston Family’ painting by William Hogarth (1730). Image: Private collection.

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An auction of a new artwork by local artist Tim Fowler at Gildings will be held on February 19 to help raise funds.

The money must be raised by February 28 to keep The Wollaston Family on display in the New Walk Museum & Art Gallery in Leicester. The painting has been on loan to the museum since 1943 but the family now wish to sell the picture.

Wollaston Family

‘The Wollaston Family’ by William Hogarth (1730). City of Leicester Museums Trust is hoping to raise £565,000 to keep the painting. Image: Private collection.

They are offering it to the nation at the reduced price of £1.47m in lieu of inheritance tax, below the £3m valuation by Sotheby’s. The deal would mean HMRC will accept £903,672 in tax and the balance of £564,528 must be raised.

The trust has already given £30,000 and has launched an appeal to raise a further £25,000 in public donations. Details of the fundraising can be found on Leicester city council’s website.

Fowler donated his painting, which local business A&G Picture Framers framed for free, to support the cause. The brightly coloured artwork will be offered at Gildings’ antiques and collector sale with an estimate of £600-1000 at the Market Harborough saleroom on February 19.

Gildings director Will Gilding said: “This is a fabulous contemporary work by a local artist to support a worthy art campaign for the benefit of the people of Leicester. We are generously waiving all buyers and sellers fees for this sale, so the entire proceeds can go towards helping to ‘Save the Hogarth’ campaign.”

The lot can be viewed at thesaleroom.com.

Fowler’s recent commissions include a welcome sign at the St George’s Cultural Quarter in Leicester’s city centre and for the Memento Mori exhibition of 100 skull paintings last November at the LCB Depot in Leicester. He is also on the council of the Leicester Society of Artists.

Tim Fowler

Artist Tim Fowler.