Redland Parish Church, Bristol

A pair of portraits attributed to John Vanderbank depicting  John Cossins (1882-1759) and his wife Martha, belonging to Redland Parish Church. The portraits are well known to generations of students from Redland High School where they had hung, with a steely disapproving gaze, for many years. Following an enthusiastic fundraising campaign championed by a descendant of the Cossins family the two very damaged portraits were conserved.

The portraits had been heavily over painted in the past. Indeed, the original paint on the portrait of Martha had been entirely obscured. Cleaning off the old degraded varnish and overpaint revealed extensive old damage and loss of paint. It was possible with careful in-painting to painstakingly reintegrate the losses and allow the quality of the original paintings to shine through.  A particularly pleasing outcome was the revelation of Martha’s slight smile.

Photo credits:

Bust of John and Martha Cossins:

Historic Photo of Redland Court:

Modern Photo of Redland Court: