Thursday, December 03, 2009

Sketching at the Wallace Collection

Wallace Collection - Judy and the horses (27.11.09)
11.5" x 17", pen and sepia ink in Daler Rowney Sketchbook

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I visited the Wallace Collection in Hertford House in Manchester Square on Friday morning with one of my drawing groups. I'd never been before (one of my "to do" list items which seemed to get done!) and was so impressed that I returned for more sketching and more looks at the collection in the afternoon.

It's worth noting though that the paintings in the collection are mostly viewed in the context of furniture and other artifacts of the period and that all the paintings, furniture, sculpture, glass and decorative artwork look extremely good suggesting that the conservation practiced by the Musuem is of a very high quality.

The Wallace Collection has over 5,500 works in the fine and decorative arts. Its aims is to

To preserve the Collection and Hertford House for future generations to enjoy in accordance with the bequest of Lady Wallace, retaining the essential character of a family house; to maintain and develop the quality of scholarship and practical skills of the curatorial, conservation, education and library/archival staff; through the content and the quality of the Collection and by nurturing our expertise, to continue as a centre of excellence, at home and internationally, in Eighteenth Century fine and decorative arts and Nineteenth Century collecting.

You can read more about the Collection in Review: The Wallace Collection on Making A Mark

The Wallace Restaurant
10" x 8", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I did three sketches. My first sketch was of a corner of The Wallace Restaurant - which has plaster pink walls, an Atrium Roof and potted trees.

It's interesting how many museums and art collections now release space in the main building by creating a glass roof for their central courtyards.

This particular courtyard now houses yet another one of
Oliver Peyton’s café and brasseries - as seen in the National Dining Rooms and the National Cafe at the National Gallery - which have, as regular readers will know, also been the subject of my sketches (see Interiors on my portfolio 'pastels and pencils' website).

I also tried my hand at yet another Rembrandt Self-portrait - this time one from the year 1637.

For some unaccountable reason actor Martin Freeman (from The Office and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) appears to be descended from Rembrandt.

After Self-Portrait in a Black Cap (1637) by Rembrandt
8" x 5", pencil in Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

My third sketch was the one you can see at the top - of another member of my group sketching the very impressive models of soldiers and their horses. Apparently the one with his arm raised is an example of 15th century 'Gothic' equestrian armour from South Germany.

I started a fourth which I really need to try and finish if I can. Mind you it is of the whole of one end of the Great Gallery which is a hugely impressive room so that might take a little time!



  1. I'm glad you stopped to sketch the cafe, Katherine. I never feel a visit to a gallery with you is complete if we haven't been to the cafe. :) Seriously, it's very pretty and a great advertisement for the establishment.

  2. Great sketches!!! I especially like the one of the corner of the restaurant and the one of the soldiers on horseback. Looks like a great place to stay warm and sketch.

  3. I do love your interiors, Katherine, and I agree with Robyn, I need to vicariously have tea with you, each time you do one. The one of Wallace Restaurant looks great within that yellow border. And to end our lovely tea, Robyn and Katherine, my word verification below is MINTS.

  4. Very apt Annie.

    I kep thinking I ought to do more with my sketches of interiors - particularly the ones involving eating and drinking!


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