The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 50 Dulwich and The Crystal Palace

Dulwich Picture Gallery 1

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Dulwich Picture Gallery, in Gallery Road, was built by Sir John Soane and opened in 1817. The gallery is open free daily on week-days from 10 to 4 (October 16th-March 15th), 6 (September 1st-October 15th), or 6 (May 1st-August 31st), and on Sundays in summer from 2 to 5 (April and September) or 6 (May 1st-August 31st). A number of unimportant pictures were bequeathed by Alleyn and by Win. Cartwright, another actor, in 1686; but the finest works belonged to a valuable collection formed by Noel Desenfans (died 1807), a French picture-dealer in London, partly for King Stanislas of Poland, whose abdication in 1795 terminated the arrangement. Desenfans bequeathed his collection to his friend, Sir Peter Francis Bourgeois, R.A. (died 1811), landscape-painter to George III., who left it, with additions, to Dulwich College. The Linley portraits were presented in 1831 and 1835 by the Reverend Ozias Linley, the college organist, and his brother, William Linley. In 1911 Mr. Fairfax Murray added 46 paintings to the collection. The Dulwich Gallery owes its chief importance to its Dutch paintings. No other gallery is so rich in works by Albert Cuyp (1605-72), here represented by no less than fifteen paintings. There are also good examples of Berchem, Ruisdael, and Hobbema (No. 87). The genre-painters are very well represented by Dou (No. 56), Brouwer (No. 108), Adrian van de Velde (No. 51), Dujardin (No. 82), and Adrian van Ostade (No. 115). Of Rembrandt there are two good examples (Nos. 163, 126). The later Flemish School is likewise well represented; there are a large number of paintings by the two Teniers, about twenty works assigned to Rubens, and some good examples of Van Dyck (esp. No. 173). The gallery is not rich in paintings of the Italian School, and the Primitives are entirely absent. Domenichino (No. 283), Paolo Veronese (No. 270), the early-Florentine School, and the Umbrian School (No. 256) are each represented by one work, but there are several pictures assigned to the Carracci (esp. No. 255), and several popular works by Guido Reni. The gallery possesses two small but genuine works by Raphael. Of the French School, Nicholas Poussin can be well studied here, as there are no fewer than sixteen paintings by or after him. Claude Lorrain, too, has some characteristic examples, while Watteau is represented by two works, one of them an undoubted masterpiece (No. 156). To the Spanish School belong three magnificent works: Velazquez's Philip IV. and Murillo's Peasant Boys and Flower Girl. The excellent collection of portraits of the English School of the 17-18th century includes two by Reynolds (Nos. 318, 598), several by Gainsborough, a fine Lawrence (No. 178), and a Romney (No. 590). The landscape by Richard Wilson (No. 171) should not be overlooked. Excellent catalogue (1914; 1/), with biographical notices of the painters, by Sir Edward Cook, and 1921 supplement by E. T. Hall. See also 'Pictures in the Dulwich Gallery' (illustrated; in 3 parts, 1/ each, 2/6 together). Our description in each room begins with the pictures on the left as we enter.