The Wallace Collection is a national museum in an historic London town house. The collection was acquired principally in the nineteenth century by the third and fourth Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace. In the twenty-nine galleries are unsurpassed displays of French eighteenth- century paintings, furniture and porcelain together with superb Old Master paintings. A magnificent collection of princely arms and armour is shown in four galleries and there are further important displays of gold boxes, miniatures, sculpture and Medieval and Renaissance works of art.
Treasure of the Month Highlights great works of art in the Wallace Collection
March April May
Vincenzo Foppa, The Young Cicero Reading, Italy, c. 1464
Foppa’s enchanting fresco of a boy reading (probably the Roman orator Cicero as a young boy), painted for the Medici Bank in Milan in c. 1464, provides an interesting example of Florentine patronage in Florence’s rival city. The only fresco to survive the demolition of the Medici Bank in the early 1860s, it is remarkable also for its unusual subject matter and provenance.
Talks: Lucy Davis, 5 and 22 March at 1pm
Tortoise-shell and Gold Counter Case, Italy, c. 1725–50
Used for storing playing cards, inside this case are four gold rectangular compartments, each with its own mother of pearl suit inlaid beside it. The scenes depicted on the case are an exaggerated view of Chinese life, where the people, the architecture and the insects are almost all the same size. The case is made using a special technique called Pique.
Talks: Carmen Holdsworth Delgado, 5 and 24 April at 1pm
Rock Crystal Mughal Bowl, North India, 17th century
Rock crystal is a type of clear quartz that has long been prized by many cultures for its rarity and brilliant translucence. Incredibly difficult to work, this wonderful two-handled bowl was probably made for a member of the Mughal court in India. Later, in the early 19th century, another owner had a ravishing enamelled gold cover and base made for it.
Talks: Jeremy Warren, 14 and 22 May at 1pm
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