Rejoice Greatly

Today I want to share with you the painting that always elicits a gasp of delight from our lady visitors (and a few of the more sentimental fellas). The colors are so soft; the cheeks of the girls so rosy; the scene so inviting… it’s impossible not to fall in love with Rejoice Greatly. This painting (one of the largest in our collection) will have pride of place in the new upstairs painting gallery.

Stephen Reid
British (1873 – 1948)
Rejoice Greatly, 1923
Oil on canvas

Painted to commemorate the Allied victory of World War I, Stephen Reid’s Rejoice Greatly quietly reflects upon the sacrifice of those servicemen whose efforts led to the continuing freedom of Great Britain and continental Europe. The scene depicts Reid’s daughter, Jessie, and her friend lighting paper lanterns to guide the victorious troops home. The setting is the artist’s studio garden in St John’s Wood, London, which sadly fell victim to Axis bombing during World War II.

Stephen Reid was a lifelong friend of Mr. and Mrs. Sloane.  Handwritten correspondence in the Hermitage archives portrays the relationship between Reid and the Sloane family as warm and mutually respectful. Mrs. Sloane eventually purchased four major works by Reid, including the elaborate allegorical painting on the door of the Hermitage dining room. Reid’s paintings are also found at the National Gallery, London, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Conservation Needs: Examination and solvent tests, surface clean to remove dust and grime, revarnish surface, corrective reframing and installation of a backing board, consolidate frame finish, surface clean frame, retouch loss and wear to frame, photography and written documentation

Conservation Cost: $3000


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