Combining business and pleasure is a great way to travel. I flew to London over the weekend, and it was so quick it felt just like going to The Hamptons! I visited the Wallace Collection for the first time which is the finest art collection ever amassed by one family in the world. During the 18th and 19th Century, four Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace each made their own contribution to their family’s passion.
The National Museum is in a historic London town house (which looks more like a mansion) built in the late 18th Century for the Duke of Manchester. It would later be sold and Sir Richard Wallace expanded the property to make room for his family’s vast fine art and armor collection.
|Oval Drawing Room|
Although the architecture of the house is in several different styles, it has an elegant facade and the interior is sumptuous. The marble staircase makes a grand entry and the walls are lined in elegant silk brocades with matching formal draperies.
My favorite room is the Oval Drawing Room filled with Fragonards and Bouchers. Very feminine and romantic, “The Swing” is Fragonard’s most popular painting yet it’s easy to overlook in this room filled with such fine treasures.
|Fragonard’s “The Swing”|
The East Drawing Room is truly astonishing with it’s abundance of Dutch paintings. Several fine Rembrandts are featured and the Rubens are truly exceptional yet unfortunately poorly displayed. Mixed in with so many other works it is difficult to focus on so many wonderful paintings thrown together.
|East Drawing Room|
The collection was overwhelming so we took a short break and enjoyed tea in the lovely enclosed courtyard. It was a very memorable and special day, a needed relaxation for the busy weeks ahead.