Despite now housing the one of the most important collections of Dutch paintings in Europe, the art is no more important than the context at the Wallace Collection. So while the pictures are no doubt tremendous, one might first consider the sensitive way the three new galleries of Dutch art have been hung.
© Cassandra Parsons
For starters, a 1970s air con system in Hertford House has been taken out to open the rooms back up to the skylights. So once again this part of the Wallace’s gallery will look close to the way it appeared in previous centuries.
What’s more, rich blue silk has been chosen to line the walls. This is another nod to the past, since several works were displayed this way when in the Parisian townhouse of the Duc de Choiseul. The surrounds of Carlton House, home of Prince Regent George IV also influenced gallery Director, Dr Christoph Vogtherr.
Even the picture frames have been restored. So one has to admire the attention to detail which allows visitors to the Wallace to enjoy the Old Masters in more or less the same way as their original collectors.
But lest we forget, there are major paintings back on show in these well-appointed new rooms. One whole room is devoted to Rembrandt. The others are filled with notable genre works and landscape and the work of Dutch artists in Italy. Come for the refurbishment, stay for the art.
- Open 10am-5pm. Admission free.