Acclaimed artist Graham Rider has gifted his painting of the landmark Venetian basilica Santa Maria della Salute to Tynwald.
Mr Rider said: ‘I consider this work one of my finest paintings and was keen for it to be seen in public. When I learned that local artists were being invited to exhibit in the Legislative Buildings then saw the well-lit space where it was proposed to hang the painting, I knew it would have a “good home” so I was very pleased to gift it to Tynwald.’
Mr Rider relocated from Norwich to the Island in 2016 and is an artist in residence at Grenaby Studios. He has exhibited in London, including at WH Paterson in Albermarle Street, the gallery where his painting of ‘La Salute’ - as the basilica is widely known – featured in the Venice in Peril exhibition. His work can also be found in a number of corporate collections, including that of Ernst & Young and the National Railways Museum in York, while among his many private collectors is the Duke of Bedford.
Mr Rider added that over the years he had revisited the painting - one of his largest at around one metre high by one and a half metres wide – which, in a nod to his new home, now depicted ‘Manx seagulls’.
The Speaker of the House of Keys, the Hon Juan Watterson SHK, said: ‘It is very generous of Mr Rider to gift his painting to Tynwald. As a parliament we pride ourselves on being outward-looking so are delighted to be able to add to our diversity of local and international artwork - from the historic to the current – exhibited in the Legislative Buildings. Mr Rider’s magnificent work now occupies a prominent location outside the Barrool Suite where it is displayed to truly striking effect for all to admire.’
The President of Tynwald, the Hon Steve Rodan MLC, added: ‘Tynwald is extremely grateful to Mr Rider for donating his painting of Santa Maria della Salute, a work of great presence. We are also keen to make best use of this exhibition space by developing a loan collection of works by local artists, in order to provide them with an opportunity to share their talent and creativity with all those who pass through the Legislative Buildings.’
Graham Rider is pictured before his painting of Santa Maria della Salute with the President of Tynwald, the Hon Steve Rodan MLC and the Speaker of the House of Keys, the Hon Juan Watterson SHK. Photo courtesy of Paul Dougherty, Tynwald Seneschal