18th century Virginia Water landscape returns home to roost

A fabulous landscape of Virginia Water by well-known painter George Arnald, ARA, (1763-1841) recently discovered in America has now been returned to its Surrey home.

Proudly being displayed by local resident and business owner, James Wyatt in the offices of estate agency Barton Wyatt, the painting has completed its Trans-Atlantic journey from Chester, New York to the heart of Virginia Water.

The 18th century landscape was discovered by Gregory Page-Turner, a fine art dealer specialising in early British portraits and topographical landscapes. Mr Page-Turner unearthed the painting in a catalogue which referred to it as “An English river landscape”.

Page-Turner was taken by the landscape and in particular the lake with the elegant party in the foreground. On receiving more detailed photographs he was able to discover the identity of the painter and the subject of the landscape from a plaque attached to the frame. Mr Page-Turner was keen to secure the painting at auction with a view to returning it to its home town.

On arrival in the UK the authenticity of the painting, which features buildings not factual in Virginia Water, came under scrutiny but local historian and Guards Polo Club archivist, Graham Dennis said:

“I believe the painting is a Capriccio* landscape of Virginia Water with the additional buildings simply artistic licence.”

Now hanging in the offices of Barton Wyatt, any residents or interested collectors are invited to view it. It is hoped that the painting will find a buyer based in Virginia Water, keen to have the important topographical painting added to their collection.

The painting is expected to fetch in the region of £15,000 and for more information contact Barton Wyatt on 01344 843 000 or email jw@bartonwyatt.co.uk.

* In painting, a capriccio in older English works often anglicized as “caprice”, means an architectural fantasy