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DateLecture
06 November 2019 The Founders and treasures of the Wallace Collection
04 December 2019100 years of deception: hoaxes and swindlers in the 18th century
15 January 2020Portraiture of 18 century Britain
05 February 2020Gilbert and Sullivan the birth of English operetta
04 March 2020Christina Rosetti and her artists
01 April 2020 Figures in the City: Picturing People in Post-war London
13 May 2020Paul Durand Ruel, the madman who ‘made’ the impressionists
03 June 2020‘The most perfect painter of his age’: Understanding Bruegel’s Enyclopaedic Pictures

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The Founders and treasures of the Wallace Collection Stephen Duffy Wednesday 06 November 2019

Stephen was educated at New College, Oxford, and formerly Senior Curator of the Wallace Collection where he had particular responsibility for exhibitions and nineteenth-century paintings. He has given countless tours of the Collection for visiting groups and many lectures on its art and other related subjects. His latest publication, The Discovery of Paris, is a book on early nineteenth-century watercolour views of Paris by major British artists.


The Wallace Collection, a national museum containing an outstanding array of paintings, furniture, porcelain, arms and armour, and other works of art, was brought together by five generations of one family between about 1780 and 1880. All the Founders were remarkable – and sometimes rather strange - men in their own right, but the greatest collectors were the 4th Marquess of Hertford and his illegitimate son, Sir Richard Wallace, who lived most of their lives in Paris. It is their French upbringing which largely explains the strong, but by no means overwhelming, French emphasis to much of the Collection. This lecture tells the fascinating story of the Wallace Collection’s formation, and also presents many of its finest treasures.