The Newport Daily News

By Sean Flynn | The Newport Daily News
February 20, 2014

NEWPORT, R.I. — Preservation students from South Carolina visiting Salve Regina University this week made a surprising discovery, a likely French painting on the ceiling of the former ballroom of Ochre Court. The newly exposed ceiling section was under two layers of paint and shows a cherub with wings.

“It’s a pretty French-looking painting,” said professor Robert Russell, Salve’s director of the Cultural and Historic Preservation Program. “The whole ceiling is going to look like this.”

Architect Richard Morris Hunt designed Ochre Court in the early 1890s for New York banker and real estate magnate Ogden Goelet to serve as the family’s summer residence. Inside the mansion, Hunt used details from French Gothic chateaux and churches to create a great hall, ground-floor reception rooms and private family rooms. He may have commissioned a painting in France that was brought here for the ballroom’s ceiling. The discovered painting on canvas was glued to the ceiling.

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STEAM subjects: Science, Engineering, Art