For museum-goers, I can imagine that you probably relish the same satisfaction when in the maze that a museum can be, you find yourself alone in one of its galleries.
Recovering from a cold, I dragged myself out of bed when off work to visit The Wallace Collection in London. Sometimes surrounding one's self with beautiful things can ease up the sinuses.
Tucked behind Selfridges London, in Manchester Square, The Wallace Collection is a national museum housed in historic Hertford townhouse, the former residence of the Seymour family, Marquesses of Hertford. Fine and decorative art pieces are presented in 25 galleries.
Here, I take you on a tour of some of the rooms, paintings, furniture, and decorative pieces that I particularly loved. I'll break it up into several posts so you don't get visual overload.
Above is the Large Drawing Room where the cabinet-making and marquetry expertise of Andre-Charles Boulle are on display. The Frenchman specialised in brass and tortoiseshell inlays. He was the chief cabinet-maker to King Louis XIV. He's credited to have revolutionised a new type of furniture in 1708: the chest of drawers. Two of his creations for the King can be found in the Palace of Versailles. Amongst his other royal clientele included Philippe V of Spain and Maximilian-Emmanuel of Bavaria.
Most museums do not have provisions for visitors to sit right inside the galleries for them to admire and take in the grandeur that surrounds them. At Hertford House guests are allowed that luxury. See those two chairs by the windows? They're reserved for you.
The Great Gallery was constructed in 1872 as part of the extension of Hertford House to accommodate the rest of the family's collection which was transported from Paris to London. This room is considered to be the culmination of anyone's visit to the museum. It houses old master paintings by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Rubens, Philippe de Champaigne, Poussin, Velazquez, and many others. The Great Gallery honours on its walls the Baroque Age of artistic expression from the Netherlands, Flanders, France, Italy, and Spain.
Above is the Fernery where natural light is ushered into the first floor landing. I'm quite drawn to this part of the house and have come back a few times to catch it at its stillness when no one is around. For those who have been reading my posts since 2013, I think you can make it out by now that I love taking photographs of museums and beautiful spots at its unoccupied state. It does take me ages sometimes as I hang around until everyone else equally appreciating their surroundings has left the premises. I think I can aptly be called an empty-museum-gallery stalker.
Next time, we'll have a look at some of the finest objects that can be found in these rooms.
Have a lovely long weekend everyone!
Click HERE if you missed Part I.