HC Deb 18 March 1889 vol 334 cc50-1
MR. GATHORNE-HARDY () Kent, Medway

asked the First Lord of the Treasury whether it was true, as stated in the public Press, that the authorities of the National Gallery were applying a new and fanciful nomenclature to the pictures there; and, if so, whether he would direct that the old and well-known names of the painters be also affixed to them?


The changes which, in a very few instances, have been made on the labels of pictures in the National Gallery consist merely in the substitution of the true name of the painter for the colloquial nickname. This has been done in anticipation of the appearance of the forthcoming catalogue, in which the system of nomenclature will agree with that now almost universal in the great Continental galleries and in their catalogues. It would, no doubt, have been better in all cases where an alteration was necessary to have left the old name also standing, and in some instances this has been done. The sole reason for not doing it in every case was the desire to avoid the expense of new labels, and it was hoped that no great inconvenience would be felt from the omission, since it has been made solely when the painter's surname was as perfectly well-known to the general public as the Christian name or the nickname. It is, however, intended to restore the more familiar names to the labels, so as to save any inconvenience.