Towneley Hall painting part of Sotheby's exhibition in London

Artwork from Towneley Hall in Burnley has pride of place alongside work by famous artists such as Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon and Piet Mondrian as part of a prestigious exhibition in London organised by international auction house Sotheby's.

Towneley Hall manager Sally Smith said: "We've been working with Sotheby's to bring East Lancashire’s heritage and culture to central London.

"It is a pleasure to loan the painting, Charles Townley and Friends in His Library at Park Street, Westminster, painted in around 1780 by artist Johnann Zoffany.

"It's marvellous to think that a painting from Burnley has joined 11 other artworks from other highly regarded collections such as the Tate Gallery, Leeds Museums & Galleries, and Sainsbury's Centre to form the exhibition London: An Artistic Crossroads.

"We're delighted that artwork that normally graces Towneley Hall is now sitting with such wonderful artistic company. and being seen by visitors from across the world."

The exhibition at Sotheby's galleries in New Bond Street will run until 5th July. It is part of the National Gallery’s 200th anniversary celebrations, and brings together a dozen extraordinary works of art from major regional collections as a homage to London and to all those who have come from elsewhere to be inspired, create and flourish.

Towneley's senior curator Alison Cooper joined other representatives from the loaning organisations to give a talk about the painting of Charles Townley, focusing on his passion for collecting antiquities which became one of the foundation stones on the British Museum's collections.

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