Liverpool The Walker Art Gallery


When We visited Liverpool we had not got an agenda for the afternoon so there we were at the Albert Dock with three and a half hours before we would be picked up again. It was raining the sort of rain that doesn’t seem that heavy, but before you know it you are soaked and getting very chilled  so our first priority was to keep dry.

Here is a rainy Liverpool. It is difficult for anywhere to look appealing when it is wet.

We visited the tourist information office for a map and a look at the bus timetables but the centre was so crowded we decided to walk to the Walker Art Gallery. I know the Liverpool Tate was closer but I don’t really understand most modern art and some of it irritates me. I wanted to enjoy my time in this city so we headed out to the gallery. So here we are outside the gallery.

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It was free which is always a lovely surprise with a great high ceiling and central space downstairs. As you can see the building is reminiscent of the Natural History Museum and Science Museum in London and not too different from The Natural History Museum in Oxford. Perhaps they built all these buildings from a common template.

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I really wanted to see the Pre-raphaelites so we made our way to the 19th Century gallery.

Here is Echo and Narcissus

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And here is a cross dressing page

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When I find out how to rotate this I will. This is from the story of Dante and Beatrice. In this painting she is ignoring him, but her friend is quite obviously checking him out.

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This is Isabelle from the Prom Isabella and the pot of basil by Keats. If you don’t mind growing your basil in a pot containing your dead lover’s head it is a fine tail. Looking at the picture and the expressions of her brothers it isn’t really difficult to tell who is responsible for the loss of his head.  I did think if you were to wear tights that are that close fitting you shouldn’t try to kick the dog IMAG3286

I rather liked these two women of Phoenicia. They look more substantial that the picture above more like real women that the fantasy of some anaemic idealised figure. I also like the fact they are not looking out at the observer. I think this was painted for the drapery.

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This is earlier and more idealised but still she appeared more real than many of the figures.

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Another picture painted for the drapery. Her face is totally closed and expressionless.

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This isn’t a great photo despite not using flash the lighting bounced off the picture . I liked that they were all playing music.

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More angelic musicians here. Is it me or do they look a bit pallid and unhealthy?

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Finally one that puzzled me. Any ideas?

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I found a few Dutch old Masters the old man is by Carl Fabritius and he young man is  a Rembrant self portrait. There is such calm and poise and space in these paintings. I hadn’t expected to find 17th century Dutch masterpieces her so it was a lovely surprise.

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Here is the famous Hans Holbein portrait of Henry VIII. Those little piggy eyes and huge jowls just make me shiver. I heard last week on a history programme that 72,000 people were executed during his reign.

The final portrait I photographed is an impressionist painting of a poor woman ironing. No posh clothes or fine jewels but I felt closer to her than the grand beauties. Isn’t it always the case that behind the scenes there is some impoverished woman cleaning or ironing or cooking unnoticed and unrecorded for the most part.

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This is a modern work of two girls dancing. There is such an expression of abandon and movement and excitement I had to photograph it.

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When we emerged it had stopped raining and look how much more attractive it suddenly becomes.

 

This was a wooden installation in the middle of the streets and shops. Isn’t it fun.

 

Back at the docks we took yet more pictures. The swans are a species unique to this area apparently.

 

 

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