The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 45 The Wallace Collection

Wallace Collection

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45. THE WALLACE COLLECTION. STATIONS. Bond Street, on the Central London Railway, is + mile to the south; Baker Street, on the Metropolitan Railway and the Bakerloo Tube, is + mile to the north. OMNIBUSES. No. 153 plies along Mandeville Pl., 1 minutes east of the Gallery; No. 53 along Wigmore St., a few minutes south; Nos. 2, 13, 23 30, 48, 74, and 123 ply along Baker St., a few minutes west. ADMISSION. The collection is open daily (except on Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and Good Friday) from 10 to 5 (Sunday 2-5). On Tuesday and Friday a charge of 6d. is made. LECTURER on Saturday, at 12, other week-days (Wednesday excepted) at 3. CATALOGUES. Official catalogues of the Pictures and Drawings (text and illustrations; 3/9). Pictures and Drawings (illustrations; 2/6), the European Arms and Armour (Parts 1 and 2, 2/; Part 3 in preparation), and the Oriental Arms and Armour (6d.), photographs of paintings, drawings, and objects of art (1/-2/), and picture-postcards are on sale at the catalogue-stall. BOOKS. M. H. Spielmann, 'The Wallace Collection in Hertford House' (1900); A. G. Temple, 'The Wallace Collection' (Paintings), 1902; A. L. Baldry, 'The Wallace Collection at Hertford House' (1904); Emile Molinier, 'The Wallace Collection' (objets d'art), 1903; Philip Hendy, ' Hours in the Wallace Collection ' (1926). The Wallace Collection occupies Hertford House, on the north side of Manchester Square, once the residence of the Marquises of Hertford and afterwards that of Sir Richard Wallace (died 1890) and of Lady Wallace (died 1897). This priceless collection is the most important single collection in London for the lover of art in its various manifestations; in the choiceness and variety of its contents it resembles and even rivals the Chateau of Chantilly in France. Not its least charm is its arrangement, the beautiful furniture, porcelain, sculptures, and innumerable small works of ornamental art being admirably exhibited in the rooms containing the paintings. Among the 766 Paintings, Water Colours, and Drawings in the collection, the French School, from the 16th to the 19th century, and the Dutch School are especially well represented; the former more fully than in any other British public gallery. There are also important examples of the Flemish School of the 16th and 17th century and of the great English portrait-painters of the 18th century, besides a few choice specimens of Italian, Spanish, and German painting. The magnificent collections of French Furniture (mainly of the 18th century) and of Sevres Porcelain have few rivals. On the ground-floor is a rich collection of European Arms and Armour, supplemented by an Oriental section. Of smaller works of art there are collections, more or less extensive but all richly repaying study, of Miniatures, Wax Reliefs, Enamels, Ivories, Snuff Boxes, Glass, Sculptures, and Medals. The collection was formed mainly by the fourth Marquis of Hertford (1800-70), who resided chiefly in Paris. His father, the third Marquis, figures as the Marquis of Steyne in Thackeray's 'Vanity Fair' and as Lord Monmouth in Disraeli's 'Coningsby'; but the identification of Hertford House (then Manchester House) with the Gaunt House of 'Vanity Fair' is improbable. The fourth Marquis bequeathed the collection to Sir Richard Wallace (1818-90), who removed it to London, added to it the collection of arms and armour, besides many pictures and Renaissance works of art, and changed the name of the house to Hertford House. In 1897 the priceless collection was bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace; the house was purchased for �80,000 by parliament, and converted into the present gallery, which was opened in 1900. The director is S. J. Camp, F.S.A. From the ENTRANCE HALL, immediately beyond the entrance, the Grand Staircase ascends to the first floor, on which is exhibited the most important part of the collection (notably Room XVII-XXI, containing the French paintings and fine contemporary furniture, and Room XVI, with the gems of the collection). Visitors with limited time should therefore ascend thither at once. In the following description, however, the rooms are taken in their numerical order. Even in those rooms in which the paintings are the chief attraction, the rich furniture, bronzes, vases, and other objects should not be overlooked. From the entrance-hall we turn first to the right. GROUND FLOOR. LOWER HALL. Busts of Turenne and Conde. Pictures by Delaroche, Ary Scheffer, and other French masters, and by Sassoferrato (646), Murillo (105), and Del Mazo (4). ROOM I. Carved and gilt furniture in the style of Louis XVI covered with Beauvais tapestry of the period of Louis XV. with designs by J. B. Oudry ('Les Chasses'); No. 38. Arm-chair with monogram of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria; 24. Round table with plaques of Sevres porcelain, once owned by Queen Marie Antoinette. Case with medals and relics of the French Royal House, including a fine enamel portrait of Marguerite de France, by Jean de Court (No. 35). Ebony cabinet with marquetry panels (after Boulle). Chandelier in gilt bronze by Jacques Caffieri (died 1755; Louis XV.). The vases, clocks, mantelpiece garnitures, bronzes, statuettes, etc., merit more than passing inspection. On the walls are portraits by Nattier (453, 461, 456), a group of Louis XIV. and his family by Largilliere (122), and a portrait of Louis XV. by Van Loo (477). Above the entrance to Room II is a Dance of the Maidens, a bronze copy (French; circa 1642) of the antique relief in the Louvre known as 'Les Danseuses Borghese.' ROOM II represents the state drawing-room of an 18th century French house 27, 28. Carved screens with Lille tapestry from designs by Teniers ('tenieres'; Louis XVI.); 40. Screen, with embroidery in the Louis XIV. style; 47. Gilt bronze chandelier, by Jacques Caffieri; 17. Monumental clock in the Louis XV. style, with elaborate mechanism of circa 1725. In the centre of the room is at present a sculptured group of Cupid and Psyche by A. Cayot (1667-1722). ROOM III. Large Wall Cases contain a choice Collection of Italian Maiolica from the most famous factories (16th century). In one case is exhibited also Hispano-Moresque lustred pottery; another is devoted to enamelled pottery, stoneware, and Venetian glass. Case F, by the east wall, contains Palissy ware, a few examples of Nuremberg ware, and Limoges enamels (243. Martin Didier Pape, Tazza with the death of Cleopatra; 250. Jean II. Penicaud, Series of plaques, with designs copied from the 'Small Passion' of Albrecht Durer. Case O (in the centre), Bronzes of the 15-17th century (chiefly Italian). Case G. Medals, ivory and boxwood carvings, enamels, and bronze reliefs. Case A. Bronze, ivory, and boxwood carvings (35. Francesco da Sant' Agata of Padua, Boxwood statuette of Hercules swinging his club). In the lower part of the case are beautiful illuminations on vellum. Case K. Caskets of the 15-16th century; 567. Pair of white leather shoes, said to have belonged to Queen Elizabeth; 584. Red leather pouch containing two silver-mounted clay pipes and a tobacco-stopper, at one time erroneously said to have belonged to Sir Walter Raleigh. Case north 273, 277. Plaques of champleve enamel, with figures of saints (French; 13th century). Case M. 578. Elaborately carved miniature shrine (boxwood; Flem., circa 1500). Case L. Terracotta statuettes; 573. Head of John the Baptist in coloured terracotta (North Italian; 16th century). Paintings of the early Italian and French Schools. Also, on the east wall: 509, 516. Views by Canaletto; 316. Ary Scheffer, Francesca da Rimini; on the west wall, 124, 69. Jan Weenix (died 1719) Still life. ROOM IV. In the wall-cases is a collection of ORIENTAL ARMS AND ARMOUR (17-19th century). Central Case J contains small works in metal (12-16th and 18th century): 498. 'Bell of St. Mura' (Irish; 7th century); 499. 'Horn of St. Hubert' (14-16th century); 508. Official collar of the 'king' of a guild of archers in Holland, with pendent plaques dated from 1419 to 1826; 539. Sacerdotal flabellum or fan (French; 14th century). In Case H is an unusually fine collection of reliefs and portraits in coloured wax (16-18th century; No. 466. Benjamin Franklin ?). A flight of steps ascends from this room to Room XV on the first floor. We, however, now proceed to inspect the collection of European Arms and Armour, which occupies Rooms V-VII. This collection, unsurpassed in England, comprises many beautiful and choice pieces, and will repay unhurried examination. The rooms in which it is exhibited contain also some fine armoires and other French furniture, chiefly of the 17th century. The arms and armour are arranged in chronological order, beginning in Room VII. ROOM VII. The cases contain Swords, Helmets, Bucklers, Gauntlets, etc. The oldest swords date from about the 10th century. No. 78, in Case III, a tilting-helmet is the only helmet of English manufacture (most of the others French or Italian). At the north end is a case containing decorative saddles. ROOM VI. Arms and Armour, mainly of the 16-17th centuries. Among objects of special interest are: Case 13. Sword and gauntlet of Henry, Prince of Wales (died 1612; Nos. 666, 668); the dagger of Henri IV. (1598; 699); a shield said to have belonged to Charles V. (673). Case 12. Oval embossed and damascened Shield, surmounted by the monogram of Diana of Poitiers (632); a magnificent Gothic suit of equestrian armour (620). Case 8. Suit of armour (early 16th century), imitating the slashed costume of the day. Room V. 851. Equestrian suit of armour, believed to have belonged to the Elector Joseph of Bavaria (16th century). In the corridor outside R. V are paintings by Vernet, Robert Fleury, Delaroche, etc., casts, French coffers of the 17th century, and busts. ROOM VIII, entered from the south end of Room VII. 5. C.A. Coysevox (1640-1720), Bronze bust of Louis XIV.; 11. Germain Pilon (died circa 1590), Bronze bust of Charles;IX. 9. Coysevox, Terracotta bust of Charles Lebrun; 10. Bronze bust after the Diane a la Biche in the Louvre. Walnut Armoires (one of the Ile de France school; 16th century). The paintings in this room include: 128. J. Raoux (died 1734), Lady at her mirror; 392. Le Moine, Time revealing Truth; 134. Ph. de Champaigne (died 1674), Annunciation; 130. H. Rigaud (died 1743), Cardinal Fleury; and works by Weenix. The FOUNDERS' ROOM, or BOARD ROOM, contains busts of Sir Richard Wallace, Lady Wallace, and the fourth Marquis of Hertford, and the following portraits: 39. Lawrence, Miss Siddons; Reynolds, 561. Fourth Duke of Queensberry ('Old Q'), 45. 'Perdita' Robinson, and two other examples; 632, Morton, Wellington and his secretary. ROOM IX contains some good French furniture, bronzes, and ornaments of the 17th and 18th century; a case with medals and relics of the English Royal House (including enamel portraits of Mary Stuart and Oliver Cromwell); a bust of Lord Beaconsfield by Richard Belt, several royal portraits (560. Allan Ramsay, George III.), and 37. Romney, 'Perdita' Robinson, the mistress of George IV. when Prince of Wales. In the passage connecting Room IX with Room X are a portrait of Sir Richard Wallace, by Symonds, a portrait in chalks by Landseer, and a Head of Christ in marble, by Torrigiano, 'identical in design and modelling with the coloured terracotta Head of Christ in the lunette of the monument to Dr. John Yonge'. ROOM X has more French furniture and bronzes, including two large ebony and marquetry cabinets by Boulle (18th century). Paintings: 26. Pourbus the Elder, Portrait; 376. Landseer, Arab tent; 30. Rubens, Isabella Brant, his first wife; 18, 22. De Vos, Portraits; 16. Van Dyck, Portrait; 89. J. A. Backer (1608-51), Old woman; and Still life, by Weenix. Case A contains silver-gilt plate of the 16-18th centuries. ROOM XI. The works of art here include two fine marriagecoffers, busts of Marcus Aurelius (?) and a Philosopher, after Roman originals, and statuettes of Paris and a Bather (18th century). The large paintings of dogs and game are by J. B. Oudry (1686-1755) and A. F. Desportes (1661-1743). This room contains the large collection of MINIATURES. Case B (16-18th century). 89. Boucher, Mme de Pompadour; 93. Hans Holbein, by himself; 103. Bone, First Marquis of Hertford; 107. F. Clouet (?), Dame de Cloux; 120. Grimaldi, Duke of Marlborough; examples by P. A. Hall, the Swedish artist (142, 156); Cosway (151-153); Fuger of Vienna (176); Fragonard (183); and Dumont (197. Louis XVII.; at the end of the case). Case C (18-19th century). J. B. Isabey, 260. Wellington, 262. Mile Mars, 266. Portrait of himself; 259. Mme Mirbel, Louis XVIII.; 244. Dumont, Mme Vigee Le Brun; 292. J. Guerin (?), Mme de Stael. The Octagonal Case contains miniatures of the Napoleonic Period and the Restoration: 223. Isabey, Napoleon I. and the Empress Josephine; 320. Empress Eugenie; 267. Isabey, Wellington; various mythological, pastoral, and romantic subjects, FIRST FLOOR. We ascend to the first floor by the GRAND STAIRCASE, which has a Balustrade of forged iron and gilt bronze, made for Louis XIV. and originally in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. Halfway up is a marble bust of Louis XIV., by Coysevox (6), flanked by Houdon's busts (3 and 4) of Mme Victoire de France and Mme de Serilly. On the top landing and in the window-recess opening off it are Italian and French sculptures in marble (18-19th century), bronzes, clocks, vases, candelabra, and cabinets. Here is also 41. Inkstand of the Paris College of Surgeons, with names of distinguished members on the rim (1710). On the walls are large paintings by Francois Boucher (1703-70), representing Nymphs, Muses, the Rising and Setting Sun (485 and 484), Mythological Scenes, Pastorals, etc. In the recess is Triumphant Love, by N. F. Gillet (?; No. 9), a repetition of the original statue in the Louvre. To the right of the top landing are the rooms with the French paintings, to the left those with the Dutch and Flemish works. We enter ROOM XII, a double room (to the left), in which is hung a number of views in Venice by Canaletto (1697-1768) and by his follower and pupil Francesco Guardi (1712-93). The cabinets, clocks, vases, bronze statuettes (mostly of the period of Louis XIV.), and the furniture (period of Louis XVI., with modern Beauvais tapestry) should be examined. The 'Londonderry Cabinet,' on the west wall, contains some choice Sevres porcelain and gold and silver plate. More Sevres porcelain (18th century) is exhibited in the central cases, including (3rd case) 'bleu du roi' and 'gros bleu' (27. Cup with portrait of Benjamin Franklin). Among the bronzes may be mentioned the groups of Hercules overcoming Antᄉus (204) and Hercules and the Arcadian Stag (205), both by Giovanni da Bologna (1524-1608). ROOM XIII. Dutch and Flemish Paintings of the 17th century. To the left: 202. A. van Ostade, Buying fish; 184. A. van der Neer, Canal scene; 237. C. Netscher, Lacemaker; 214. K. du Jardin, Portrait; 242. Metsu, Old woman asleep; 145. W. van de Velde, Coast scene, one of many kindred examples; 203. Rembrandt, Good Samaritan, small panel; 208. J. Storck, Castle on a river; 170. G. Dou, The hermit; 209. Jan Steen, Village alchemist; 99. Hobbema, Landscape; 61. Drost, Young woman; 213. Nicirca Berchem, Halt at an inn; 180. Calraet, Cattle on a river bank; 254. Emm. de Witte, Church interior; 219. P. Potter, The milkmaid; 96. J. van Noordt, Boy with a hawk. ROOM XIV. To the left: 235. Terborch, Lady at her toilet; 51. Cuyp, Avenue near Dort; 236. Terborch, Lady reading a letter; 132. Camphuysen, Dutch farm at sunset; 251. G. Metsu, Sleeping sportsman; 211. A. Brouwer, Sleeping boor; 165. A. van der Werff, Shepherd and Shepherdess; Jan Steen, 154. Harpsichord lesson, 150. Lute player; 52. Rembrandt, Portrait of the artist (circa 1634); 227. Teniers the Younger, Boors carousing; 249. Wynants, Landscape; 240. Metsu, Letter-writer surprised; 224. north Maes, Listening housewife; 234. Metsu, Old woman selling fish; 229. Rembrandt, Landscape; 231. Teniers the Younger, Gambling at an inn; 55. Rembrandt, Portrait of the artist, slightly later than No. 52. ROOM XV. French and British Schools (19th century). Richard Bonington (1801-28), represented here by about a dozen works, can nowhere be better studied; and the series of smaller pieces by Meissonier is elsewhere unsurpassedied Decamps also is well represented. Prud' hon (264, 295, 347) and Isabey (335, 360, 579) have each three works. Corot (281. Macbeth and the witches) and Rousseau (283. Forest of Fontainebleau) each appear in a single example only. Among the other paintings here are No. 274. Gericault, Cavalry skirmish; 280. Vernet, Arab story-teller; Delacroix, 282. Execution of Doge Marino Faliero, 324. Faust and Mephistopheles; Lawrence, 41. Portrait of a lady, 558. Countess of Blessington, 559. George IV. In a table-case are Renaissance jewels of exquisite workmanship and charming decorative effect; also watches of unusual shape. ROOM XVI., a lofty saloon extending the whole breadth of the building, is the home of the gems of the picture-gallery and some of the finest furniture. Paintings. To the left: 139. G. Poussin, Falls of Tivoli; 85. Van Dyck, The artist as Paris; 34. Murillo, Adoration of the Shepherds; 6. Velazquez, Don Baltasar Carlos; 416. Watteau, Halt during the chase; Reynolds, 38. Nelly O'Brien, 32. Mrs. Hoare and her son; 11. Titian, Perseus and Andromeda; 391. Watteau, Fete champetre; 44. Gainsborough, Miss Haverfield; 81. Rubens, Holy Family; 46. Murillo, St. John the Baptist; 76. De Heem, Still life; 12. Velazquez, Infante Don Baltasar Carlos, resembling the picture in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; Rubens, 520. Death of Maxentius, 522-524. Scenes in the life of Henry IV. (sketches in oil); 58. Murillo, Holy Family and St. John the Baptist; 108. north Poussin, Dance to the music of Time; 120. Jordaens, Riches of autumn; 114. Claude, Italian landscape; 68. Murillo, Annunciation; Reynolds, 40. Strawberry girl, 43. Mrs. Nesbitt; 138. Cuyp, River scene; 53. Van Dyck, Portrait; 23, 27. P. de Hooch, Dutch interiors; 63. Rubens, Rainbow landscape; 72. Snyders, Dead game; 79. Van Dyck, Portrait; 29. Rembrandt, Portrait of his son; 19. Titian (?), Venus disarming Cupid; Reynolds, 36. 'Love me, love my dog,' 47. Mrs. Braddyl; 42. Gainsborough, 'Perdita' Robinson; 75. Hobbema, Stormy landscape; 88. Velazquez, Lady with a fan (one of the few portraits by this artist of ladies below court rank); 94. Van Dyck, Philippe Le Roy; 84. Hals, Laughing cavalier; 86. Rembrandt, The unmerciful servant; 127. P. de Champaigne, Portrait; 35. Reynolds, Mrs. Carnac; 100. J. B. del Mazo (?), Infanta Margarita Maria; 111. Jan Steen, Christening feast; 66. Mierevelt, Portrait; 60. Hobbema, Landscape; 116. Salvator Rosa, River scene; 54. Cuyp, River scene; 90. Rembrandt, Portrait; 71. Rubens, Crucifixion. At the north end of the gallery is a reproduction (No. 68) of Riesener's famous 'Bureau du Roi' at the Louvre; No. 66, at the south end, is a similar marquetry bureau by Riesener (1769). Among the bronzes are: 38. Hercules and the Cretan Bull, and 30. Hercules overcoming a Centaur, both by Giov. da Bologna. Around the walls are commodes of the periods of Louis XIV., XV., and XVI., and Louis XVI. chairs, carved and gilt, and covered with Beauvais tapestry. ROOM XVII. 527 Crivelli (Venetian; died 1493 ?), St. Roch; 538. Foppa (Milanese; died circa 1515), Gian Galeazzo Sforza reading Cicero (fresco on plaster); 2. Bianchi-Ferrari, (probably the master of Correggio; died 1510), Nude figures in a landscape; 1. Cima da Conegliano, St. Catherine of Alexandria; 531. Pourbus (Bruges; died 1584), Allegorical lovefeast (or the Power of Love); Luini, 10, 8. Madonnas; 9. A. del Sarto, Madonna and St. John; 555. Bronzino (Florentine; died 1572), Eleonora di Toledo; 519. Rubens, Oil sketch; 525. Beccafumi, Judith; 13. Murillo, Madonna; 56. Ruisdael, Landscape; 534. Flemish (or English) School, Dudley, Earl of Leicester; 129. P. de Champaigne, Adoration of the Shepherds; 535. Hans Eworth (circa 1540-74), English Nobleman; 49. Cuyp, Shipping; Murillo, 97. Charity of St. Thomas of Villanueva, 3. Virgin in Glory, 14 (on the staircase). Marriage of the Virgin. ROOM XVIII. French School (18th century). In this and the following rooms the objects exhibited with the paintings are of the same period, and the luxurious furniture and ornamental bric-a-brac are in admirable keeping with the graceful decorative works and dainty scenes of sophisticated romance on the walls. In these rooms Watteau (1684-1721), Lancret (1690-1743), Pater (1696-1736), Boucher (1704-70), and Fragonard (1732-1809) are represented by a charming series of conversations galantes, fetes champetres, scenes from the Italian Comedy, and romantic pastoral scenes; and J. B. Greuze (1726-1805) by a collection of his sentimental heads and figures inferior only to that in the Louvre. On the east wall: 410. Watteau, Music party; west wall: Fragonard, 430. The swing; 435. Young scholar; 399. Boucher, Shepherd piping to a shepherdess; 414. Nattier (?), Louis, Duc d'Orleans; 381. Watteau, Gilles and his family; 449. Mme Vigee Le Brun, Boy in red; north wall: 403. Greuze, Mile Arnould, of the Opera. - Cases A and B contain a remarkable collection of Snuff Boxes and Bonbonnieres of the 18th century. The upright secretaire in satinwood (No. 12) and the commode in marquetry (No. 18), both by Riesener, belonged to Marie Antoinette. ROOM XIX. Boucher, 429. Visit of Venus to Vulcan, 432. Cupid a captive, 438. Venus and Mars surprised by Vulcan, 444. Judgment of Paris (four pictures painted for the boudoir of Mme de Pompadour); 439. Watteau, Lady at her toilet; 442. Greuze, The broken mirror; Boucher, 418. Mme de Pompadour, 446. Jove (in the form of Diana) and Calisto. In this room is a reproduction (18) of the figure of 'L'Amour Menacant,' after a statuette by Falconet (now in the Louvre), introduced in Fragonard's charming picture of 'The swing' (No. 430, in Room XVIII). No. 16. Ebony console table, described as the marriage-chest of the Archduchess Marie Antoinette. ROOM XX contains French paintings of the 18th century: 457. Mme Le Brun (1755-1842), Mme Perregaux; 451. C. A. Van Loo (1705-65), Concert of the Grand Turk; 574. Morland, Visit to the boarding school; 463. De Troy (16791752), Hunt-breakfast; and works by Greuze (441 of unusual size), Boilly, Lancret, and others. The 'cartonnier' (No. 15) and writing-table (No. 17) in green lacquer and bronze are said to have belonged to the Empress Catherine II. of Russia, and tradition has it that the Peace of Tilsit was signed upon the table in 1806. In the windows are bronzes from the studio of Giov. da Bologna (57. Hercules and Cacus; 9. Rape of a Sabine). In the short passage leading to Room XXI are water-colours by Bonington and Clarkson Stanfield, and a large cabinet of Sevres china. ROOM XXI contains paintings by Pater, Vernet, Simon. Saint-Jean, Despories, and Weenix; 507, 511. Canaletto (?), Views in Venice; L. de Marne, 462. Women and soldiers revelling, 469. The elixir. The furniture, bronzes, sculptures, and Sevres porcelain should not be overlooked. ROOM XXII contains French furniture and china, including Chinese celadon porcelain with French mounts (18th century), and paintings by Greuze, Pater, and Claude (125). Two of the small bronzes are by Giovanni da Bologna (7 and 9). In the middle is a fine white marble vase by Clodion (No. 55). A staircase on the right, at the top of the Grand Staircase, leads to Rooms XXIII-XXV on the second floor (closed indefinitely), which contain the less important Dutch and Flemish paintings, water-colours, etc.