The Zurbarán Trust

Jacob and his twelve sons by Francisco de Zurbarán,
1598 - 1664

The pictures are housed at Auckland Castle, which is open to the public in the summer months. Auckland Castle has been the home of the Bishops of Durham for almost 1000 years. These pictures have been a part of the history of the Castle for over 250 of them. For the last decade there has been a threat that they would have to be sold to release funds for the work of the Church of England; that threat is removed, and they will be held for ever at Auckland - held in trust for the people of the North East of England.

A significance beyond their commercial and cultural importance: hope in broken-ness

Those who know and love the Angel of the North in Gateshead will appreciate the power that art has to transcend the everyday concerns of ordinary people. These huge paintings have a similar power. They were acquired by the (then) Bishop of Durham in 1756 to lament the failure of the lawmakers to grant freedom from oppression for the Jews in England. The Church of England fought for this freedom, and although it failed then, it was a victory delayed, not lost.

These pictures tell a story: that oppression can be lifted, deprivation can be alleviated. The North East of England needs cheering up! These pictures have been given, and they now need to be owned, to be an encouragement to the good things to come in the area.

The pledges of the Zurbarán Trust

  • The pictures at Auckland will be more accessible to visitors in the future
  • The Zurbarán Trust will be active in bringing practical help to the people of the North East in Christ's name, by reaching out to everyone

"This trust is being set up at a time when the North East faces uncertainty of outlook, and for many, the certainty of hardship. The North East holds many Christians, many from other faiths, many of no faith at all. But their needs are the same. The Jewish community is now an honoured part of Britain, and these pictures have in this victory won a fine battle honour. But they still have a job of work to do. They are a symbol of hope in broken-ness: that symbol of hope is henceforth owned by the people of the North East, whoever they may be, whatever needs they have, one in that hope, and one in their humanity."

This website will be updated as and when there are new things to report.

Saved for the North East

Jacob

Francisco de Zurbarán

Oil on Canvas
197cm x 101cm

Jacob

Reuben

Francisco de Zurbarán

Oil on Canvas
197cm x 101cm

Reuben

Simeon

Francisco de Zurbarán

Oil on Canvas
197cm x 101cm

Simeon

Levi

Francisco de Zurbarán

Oil on Canvas
197cm x 101cm

Levi

Judah

Francisco de Zurbarán

Oil on Canvas
197cm x 101cm

Judah

Zebulun

Francisco de Zurbarán

Oil on Canvas
197cm x 101cm

Zebulun

Issachar

Francisco de Zurbarán

Oil on Canvas
197cm x 101cm

Issachar

Dan

Francisco de Zurbarán

Oil on Canvas
197cm x 101cm

Dan

Gad

Francisco de Zurbarán

Oil on Canvas
197cm x 101cm

Gad

Asher

Francisco de Zurbarán

Oil on Canvas
197cm x 101cm

Asher

Napthali

Francisco de Zurbarán

Oil on Canvas
197cm x 101cm

Napthali

Joseph

Francisco de Zurbarán

Oil on Canvas
197cm x 101cm

Joseph

Benjamin

Arthur Pond

Oil on Canvas
197cm x 101.5cm

Benjamin