Titian discovered hanging on the wall in Ledbury Church

Published on: 2nd March 2021


A Ledbury church is the proud owner of a newly attributed Titian masterpiece, depicting the Last Supper.

The painting in Saint Michael and All Angels church Ledbury, Herefordshire, is the newest find by renowned Italian painter Titian.  It depicts a scene from the Last supper and is believed to include several portraits of the Veceli family, including the artist’s sons and Titian himself. After undergoing cleaning and restoration, in 2018 it now hangs proudly in the church, awaiting the return of visitors.


Tiziano Vecelli or Vecellio is most commonly known in English as Titian. He was born in Venice
and was a Venetian painter during the Renaissance.  He is considered the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school of art.  His work includes a wide range of styles including portraiture, landscapes, mythology and religious subjects.


The 12ft wide painting has hung in St Michael’s for many years. Dirty, dark and brown it was underrated until it piqued the curiosity of art historian, Ronald Moore who was working on another project in the church and began to ask a few questions.  Some years later, in 2018 as part of several months of painstaking work, Roland and his research assistant Patricia Kenny researched and identified the origin of the painting. He undertook a detailed examination of the precious artwork using ultraviolet lights and was able to identify previously unseen features, including an under-drawing - done by hand and the artist’s signature on a jug in the corner of the painting.


Following the exciting news, The Revd Keith Hilton-Turvey, Rector at St Michael’s and All Angels said: “I enjoy the restored painting, appreciating it whenever I’m in the church. For now, only those coming to the church for private prayer or for a service can see this wonderful work, but I hope
we see visitors returning to the area later this summer and pray they will come to visit and admire
the painting and all that our church and town have to offer.”


Titian’s Last Supper remains on display at St Michael and All Angel’s Church Ledbury, Herefordshire. The church will fully reopen later this summer to visitors, once government restrictions ease.

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