Cecil Gould

Cecil Hilton Monk Gould (24 May 1918 – 7 April 1994) was a British art historian and curator who specialised in Renaissance painting. He was a former Keeper and Deputy Director of the National Gallery in London.

Cecil Gould
BornCecil Hilton Monk Gould
(1918-05-24)24 May 1918
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Died7 April 1994(1994-04-07) (aged 75)
OccupationArt historian, curator
RelativesRupert Gould (father)
Muriel Estall (mother)
Jocelyne Stacey (sister)


Born in 1918, Gould was the son of Rupert Gould, the restorer of John Harrison’s chronometers, and Muriel Estall. Gould was educated at Kingswood House preparatory school, near Epsom, and then at Westminster School. After leaving school he studied at the Courtauld Institute.

During the Second World War he served as Pilot Officer Gould in R.A.F. Intelligence, first in Egypt from 1941 to 1943 and then in Normandy, France. In early 1945 he was transferred to the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program under the Civil Affairs and Military Government Sections of the Allied armies, which was established in 1943 to help protect cultural property in war areas during and after World War II. The group of approximately 400 service members and civilians, known commonly as the "Monuments Men", worked with military forces to safeguard historic and cultural monuments from war damage, and as the conflict came to a close, to find and return works of art and other items of cultural importance that had been stolen by the Nazis or hidden for safekeeping.

After the war, he joined the National Gallery staff in 1946 and worked there until his retirement in 1987. He was Keeper and Deputy Director for the last five years of his tenure. He was a prolific author, publishing many books and articles during his career.

In 1970, Gould established that the National Gallery's Portrait of Pope Julius II was the prime version by Raphael and not a copy, as had previously been thought. He was also responsible for a new attribution of a work to Michelangelo.

In his last years Gould lived with his younger sister Jocelyne Stacey in the village of Thorncombe, Dorset. He developed a brain tumour and, after a short illness, died on 7 April 1994. Gould never married and was survived by Jocelyne. A collection of Gould's large-format black-and-white photographs of Islamic architecture in Cairo, taken during World War II, is in the RIBA library. Gould was portrayed during his childhood in the 2000 Channel 4 television drama about Harrison's chronometers, Longitude. He was played by child actor Joe Williams.[1]

Partial bibliographyEdit

  • The Sixteenth Century Venetian School 1959 (National Gallery Catalogue Series)
  • The Sixteenth Century Italian Schools (excluding the Venetian) 1962 (National Gallery Catalogue Series)
  • The last two were revised and combined as: The Sixteenth Century Italian Schools 1975 (National Gallery Catalogue Series) ISBN 978-0-947645-22-9
  • Michelangelo: Battle of Cascina 1966 University of Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Titian 1969 Hamlyn
  • (with Martin Davies) French School: Early 19th Century Impressionists, Post-Impressionists etc. 1970 (National Gallery Catalogue Series)
  • Leonardo: The Artist and the Non-Artist 1975 Weidenfeld and Nicolson ISBN 978-0-297-77000-8
  • The Paintings of Correggio 1978 Cornell University Press
  • Bernini in France: An Episode in Seventeenth Century History 1981 Weidenfeld and Nicolson ISBN 978-0-297-77944-5
  • Parmigianino 1995 Abbeville Press ISBN 978-1-55859-892-8


  • Betts, Jonathan (2006); Time Restored: The Harrison timekeepers and R. T. Gould, the man who knew (almost) everything Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-856802-9
  • Levey, Michael (1994); 'Cecil Gould (1918–94)'; The Burlington Magazine; Volume 136, 554


External linksEdit