Inspired by Edmund de Waal's masterful work, The Hare With Amber Eyes, I found myself wanting to explore a collection that had been in my grandmother's family. As I had a visit scheduled to her north of Liverpool, I thought I'd try and find an hour to visit the Walker Art Gallery. My favourite piece was this beautiful pot: (I'm sure a more gracious term exists)
The Walker hosts the 'modern' collection, which dates from the Renaissance onwards, including this piece. Mostly, the work is figurative, but this pot inspired me the most. I loved the simplicity and movement of the figures which mirrored the flowing lines of the base and lid.
The rest of the collection, which is of original Greek and Roman marbles, is apparently in the Museum of Liverpool. I shall have to visit this next time. But for the simple fact of my grandmother being born a girl, this collection went to distant cousins and eventually to the town of Liverpool, close to Ince Blundell. It doesn't compare to the tragedy recounted in de Waal's book, but I reflect on this with sadness. I am glad, though, that it is more or less in tact and is in public hands, even if not much of it is on display. I admire this rather parochial but ambitious collector and distant ancestor, Henry Blundell, who built a scaled-down replica of the Pantheon in Rome, to house his spectacular collection:
Maybe he should have created an Act of Parliament, like Sir John Soane, to ensure his house and collection would remain in tact. A curious, though not surprising, use of Parliament in the 19th century.