Monday, 2 April 2012

Lady Lever Art Gallery at Port Sunlight 1

The Liverpool area is in easy striking distance of much of Wales on a day so Bev and I headed off to see the Lady Lever Gallery at Port Sunlight. It would have been easier if we'd had some clear instructions on how to get there, perhaps been more sensible to take a map and having any idea about where it was at all, other than near Liverpool, would have helped. After driving under the Mersey twice and getting a close up view of the Liver Birds on the Liver building in the city centre, we found where we were going.

Port Sunlight is a model village (that's idealistic model rather than small model) that was built from 1888 onwards by the Lever Brother to accommodate workers for it's soap factory. It took it's name from one of the company's brands of soap, Sunlight. In a pond which hadn't been filled (probably due to the time of year) we saw this statue.

In 1922, William Lever, the 1st Viscount Leverhume, found that his art collection had reached quite substantial porportions and so had this gallery built at Port Sunlight. He called it The Lady Lever Gallery in memory of his wife.

I normally grab a picture of the information attached to a work unless I think it obvious and I'm going to remember. Sometimes I get it wrong, and against what I thought, I have no idea who this is by. It doesn't seem to want to appear on a surf either - it'll be one of the main preraphelites I think - anyone know, feel free to say. It's rather lovely anyway.

No problem here though, this is Sir Edward Burne-Jones, The Tree of Forgiveness.

As well as paintings there's a lot of wonderful sculptures here. You could get a whole blog of them if I took a notion. Actually you could get a whole blog on various depictions of Andromeda from here. This one is by Clovis Delacour.

You can alway trust John Everett Millais to give you a painting and a half. This is A Dream of the Past: Sir Isumbras at the Ford.

"Tada! Look what I've Done"  Saint George rather pleased with his achievement by Edward Onslow Ford

Fidelity by Briton Riviere

Lord Lever seems to have had a bit of a thing about Napoleon and there is a whole room devoted to artifacts and paintings of him - it's roped of and has to be viewed from behind a barrier. There are several busts of him including this one. 

Not to be unbalanced here's the Iron Duke (made out of bronze)

Castles in the air by William Reynolds-Stephens
Sweet but sometimes the eyes in sculptures make even the sweetest ones just a little scarey

Lord Lever had one of the finest collections of Wedgewood in the World. Including this pot.

All you Wedgewood lovers out there - would you go this far?

Diana the Huntress by William Bayes.
Diana might have been an old Roman Goddess, but she don't half look like a '20s girl here.

This is Shou Lao,  God of Longevity. He's chinese from the Ming dynasty around 1500.

  It's a cat init! From the K'ang Hsi period, 1662 - 1722

The last piece for this visit is the rather jolly figure (also K'ang Hsi) of Ho Shang. As the god of contentment, he could be the only one you ever really need.


Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I always enjoy your museum tours. You've got me thinking I should take a drive into the city (San Fran.) and wander about the museums. It's been awhile.

Shundo said...

Lots of pomp and circumstance here - I will have to go and look up Sir Isumbras. Also musing on the big cheeses of capitalism and what they do with their money. Art collections never go out of style it seems, but no-one goes in for model viillages any more do they?
Sinbad, I think you might find the current show at the Palace of the Legion of Honor has some similar stuff to the first few here - The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde, 1860–1900. It has good good reviews anyhow.

Ellie said...

I've never heard of Port Sunlight and it's history. It's very interesting - they do say you learn something new every day - you sure do in blogland :))
Lovely pieces in the museum I really liked the picture of the man and his dog.
Thanks for sharing.

Sandy's witterings said...

John, I need my occasional Museum fix for my sanity

Shundo, your San Francisco Exhibition looks a cracker (I do like my Pre raphelites) (anyone else wondering about it can find it at )

Port Sunlight definately worth dropping in on if you find yourself in that corner of the World Ellie.