Comprising over 70 pieces, the collection contains an assortment of oil paintings, watercolours and photographs. It has been acquired directly from the Ouless family, who had kept the works ever since the artist’s death over 130 years ago.

The collection was bought for just over £70,000 and Jersey Heritage’s Senior Registrar Helena Kergozou said the charity was extremely grateful to the Ouless family for offering a first option to buy. She said: “This is a very exciting moment for Jersey Heritage, particularly for the collections team. It is our biggest art purchase to date and this large collection of Ouless artworks represents an incredible addition to our art collection, which help us to tell the stories of Jersey’s most important artists.”

The art collection managed by Jersey Heritage already contains works by Ouless (1817-1885), however, many of these relate to the artist’s commercial work as a marine portraitist. The new collection offers an insight into Ouless’ private life, with portraits of his wife and children and paintings from his travels around Europe, as well as a number of landscapes of Jersey that have never been seen publicly.

One highlight is an oil on canvas self-portrait of the artist, created later in his life when he was an older man. Prior to this purchase, the only other self-portrait of Ouless in the art collection was created in about 1840 when the artist was much younger.

Also in the new collection are some photographs taken by Philip’s son, Clarence Ouless (1854-1927); a couple of oil paintings by another of his sons, Walter William Ouless (1848-1933), who went on to exhibit at the Royal Academy; and a painting by Catherine Ouless (1879-1961), Philip’s granddaughter.

In a statement, the Ouless family said: “The Ouless family is delighted that this important collection has returned to the Island and been placed in the expert care of Jersey Heritage for the people of Jersey. Among the many views of the Island and the places to which he travelled are our family

portraits, including a self-portrait of Philip Ouless and of his wife and children. While the portraits have great personal significance and have been in our family for over 150 years, we recognise their historical importance and how much they contribute towards an understanding of the artist as a person.”

Jersey Heritage’s collections team will spend time over the coming months cataloguing and digitising each item, making these works available for research purposes and to view online. Conservation work will also be undertaken.

Although there are currently no plans to have the artworks on long-term public display, the new collection will be on display for people to view at Jersey Heritage’s first ‘Meet the Collections’ event of the year, which takes place on Saturday, 9 March at the Sir Francis Cook Gallery. More details can be found here.