WALLACE COLLECTION LONDON
|PAINTINGS AND SCULPTURE ADMIRED|
VIEW OF THE WESTERKIRCHE, AMSTERDAM, J.VAN DER HEYDEN AND VAN DE VELDE(ART ENCOUNTERED SECTION)
|ALLEGORY OF TIME. WITNESSING THE TRIUMPH OF HONOUR, PROBITY AND PRUDENCE OVER VICE, FRENCH 1700 - 1720, BRONZE|
Approaching the Museum, I found a pair of trainers in the gutter, the third time this has happened in front of a Museum in 2015. The Main Gallery with its justly celebrated Hals (The Laughing 'Cavalier') and Poussin (Dance to the Music of Time) had been re-decorated and was impressive. More so were the indications of the collecting instincts of the Marquis of Hertford (1800-1870) and later his successor, Sir Richard Wallace, in cabinet sized smut and pin-up masterpieces, with an emphasis on the Paris juste-milieu artists, Delaroche, Couture and their ilk. The Marquis had a quarter of a million pounds a year to spend on himself having succeeded to the title in 1842.
Poor St.Anthony, pleading for alleviation from dimpled bums and clinging hands. See Papety and Delaroche above. The rich comedy of the Princes of the Tower is much improved in colour. In my childhood encyclopedias it was invariably black and white, and poorly printed.
The Allegory of Time was as ugly, obtrusive and as absurd as a sculptural piece can get, with a hundred protruding devices to snag your cardigan. In the Armour Galleries two beefy visitors in shorts paraded their tree trunk limbs among the turned mahogany and glinting vizors.
see The Hertford-Mawson Letters , ed J. Ingamells 1981