I have posted about the Lady Lever Art Gallery before in a review entitled Port Sunlight Village which covers more things in general about this unique village on the Wirral. This summer I returned specifically to see an exhibit about Venice. The gallery was undergoing renovations so we were not able to see the before mentioned Wedgewood rooms, however there was still so much to see. My aunt and I had been to the village before but it was a first trip for my uncle and it won’t be his last. It is an enchanting place.
However, back to the art gallery, the focus of this review. The exhibit, “Picturing Venice,” contained various paintings, prints and photographs of the city. The three of us have been to Venice and enjoyed the memories the exhibit evoked. I particularly liked the vibrant colours in Valentine Cameron Prinsep’s A Venetian Water Carrier (1863), James Holland’s Venetian Capriccio (1856) and, of course, Carlo Ponti’s late 19th century photographs, especially The Bridge of Sighs. After viewing the exhibit I was again drawn to my favourites, the reason I first went to the Lady Lever: the Pre-Raphaelites. The Tree of Forgiveness, The Annunciation, and The Beguiling of Merlin by Edward Coley Burne-Jones are displayed together in the main gallery. My ultimate favourite, on the opposite wall, is The Blessed Damozel by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
A couple of other items also caught my attention this year: a boxed piano by Frederick Beck, case by Christopher Fuhrlohg (English, 1775) with its intricate marquetry design; and a bronze, gilt bronze and porcelain Globe Clock movement by Jean Romilly (1765-70). Like any gallery, there is always something new to find as well as old familiars.
The building is not as large as some art galleries, however it is easy to spend half a day here and enjoy lunch or coffee in the basement café. Then there is the rest of the village to explore.