Only two line up for masterpiece

SINCE it exploded onto the world’s art scene last month, just two people have visited the Maryborough Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society to view what is believed to be a $1 million painting of 18th-Century artist William Hogarth.

The painting, believed to be a self portrait, dated circa 1731, had been sitting in a safe for 30 years and in a glass display cabinet for six years before Queensland Museum’s Fiona Mohr uncovered the gem and reported it to Hogarth experts at London’s Tate Gallery.

Society secretary Shirley Hewitt said the last she had heard was Hogarth experts were expected to travel to Maryborough to try and authenticate the painting.

“Aside from that, we haven’t heard a word,” Ms Hewitt said.

“And after all the noise on television, we only had two visitors come in to photograph it,” she laughed.

The oil-on-board portrait was donated to the society by Maryborough resident Minnie Hull in the 1970s.

Relatives of Ms Hull received it as a wedding present in 1881.

Hogarth – who features in the painting holding an artist’s palette in one hand and a paintbrush in the other – was well known for his satirical works.

If authentic the painting could be worth up to $1 million.

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