Saturday, 18 February 2012

Wallace Collection

I recently visited friends in London and we went to many exhibitions, including Grayson Perry's show at the British Museum and the Dazed and Confused exhibit at Somerset House, however it was the Wallace Collection just off Oxford Street that I really loved. I have been waiting to see it for years but never got round to going. I was not disappointed. The Rococo rooms upstairs were spectacular, extravangantly furnished and decorated, the walls crammed with paintings by the most famous 18th and 19th Century artists. They were not particularly well displayed but reflected the Wallace family's obsessive collecting and showmanship.

However the rooms containing Francois Boucher's work were carefully planned out and beautifully displayed. They certainly did not disappoint. It was brilliant to see the paintings in the flesh and i noticed so many details you simply don't see in books. My favourite was the portrait of Madame de Pompadour, who has long fascinated me since my fascination with 18th century France began after watching Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette". I also loved the poster in the next room, advertising a 'yard sale' at Versaille Palace during the French Revolution, where the family purchased several of Marie Antoinette's tea-sets amongst other items, which were displayed alongside.