The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville has presented a 350 year old painting to the Speed Art Museum as a long-term loan.
Archdiocese spokesperson Cecilia Price says the donation is part of the local church’s bicentennial celebration. The painting is by Flemish master Gaspar de Crayer and was commissioned around 1650 as an altarpiece.
“It is the painting ‘William of Aquitaine Converted by Saint Bernard.’ This painting was first brought to the Archdiocese of Louisville, then the Diocese of Bardstown, at around 1815 to 1820, by the great Kentucky missionary Father Charles Nerinx,” P rice said.
The painting was later displayed in Louisville’s Cathedral of the Assumption, and after that in a church museum. It underwent an extensive restoration in 2002.
It now hangs in the Speed Art Museum’s foyer.