This exhibition includes work by acclaimed British and international artists such as Keith Vaughan, Duncan Grant, Graham Sutherland, Alfred Wallis, Ivon Hitchens, Maurice Denis, Ben Nicholson, Jean Millet, Amedeo Modigliani and Lucien Pissarro.
The collection takes its name from Mattei Radev, who entered Britain in 1950 by stowing away on a cargo ship having escaped his homeland Bulgaria. Radev worked hard to establish himself as one of the foremost picture framers for the London galleries.
At the same time he associated with the Bloomsbury group of literary and artistic high flyers. His steady rise from humble beginnings saw friendships blossoming with music critic Eddy Sackville-West (who became the 5th Lord Sackville) and art dealer Eardley Knollys, whose combined expertise and taste formed this magnificent art collection, not seen in public until this touring exhibition.
Each man added to the collection and the final selection reflects their differing tastes: Knollys for French artists, and Sackville-West for Modernist pieces. Radev’s additions followed in 1991 - most notably works by Robert Medley when he inherited the collection from Knollys, but his greatest gift was to keep the collection intact.
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