Fri, 22 Feb 2019
AS the exhibition showcasing the works of former Newbury artist and mayor, the late Christopher Hall, ends this weekend, his family are trying to trace owners of his Italian and religious works.
Mr Hall, who died aged 85 in 2016 following complications from a fall, lived in Newbury most of his life and was a well-known painter in oils.
As well as being known for his art, Mr Hall had also developed a reputation in local politics, representing the Liberals (now known as the Liberal Democrats) on the former Newbury borough and district councils for many years.
He also served as mayor of Newbury between 1967 and 1968, when he was just 36, becoming one of the youngest men to hold the post in the council’s 370-year history.
The retrospective of his work, displayed at the West Berkshire Museum, features around 30 paintings of both local and international interest.
Visitors to the exhibition, which closes on Sunday, can also see many of Mr Hall’s sketches highlighting his evolution as an artist.
The end of the long-running Newbury retrospective precedes an exhibition this summer of his painting in Recanati, Italy, the town where Mr Hall met his wife Maria in 1954, and where he was based on most of his painting expeditions to Italy until his last in 2011.
The couple married in the town in 1957.
The exhibition, to be held in the baroque church of San Vito, will coincide with celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of 19th-century poet Giacomo Leopardi, considered one of the greatest of the era and native of Recanati.
Mr Hall’s family are also in discussions with the British Council in Rome about bringing the Anglo-Italian event to the attention of a wider audience.
They are actively tracing past buyers of Mr Hall’s Italian and religious work in the hope they might be loaned in order to show as many works as possible and to be included in a book about his Italian work to be released at the same time.