the wallace collection
according to the google listing for the wallace collection website, it is “home to one of Europes finest collections of works of art, paintings, furniture, arms & armour and porcelain”.
i only had a bit of time to check out a portion of the collection today and i’ve got plans to go back, but i agree and completely fell in love with the back state room. the dining and billiard rooms were impressive and i did love the walnut chair and mahogany writing desk in the billiard room, but it was in the back state room that i fell in love with the details.
the lush cerise wallpaper was classic french rococco style – rich, silk and patterned with just enough gawd to be austentatious, but enough restraint to show class. photography is verboten there, as i guess is taking an impression rubbing, so i just had to settle for a terrible drawing of it instead.
when i got around to the cabinets of blue painted porcelain pieces (probably in lapis lazuli), that was where i went all weak at the knees. the influence from persian ceramics was really prominent, and combined with french taste…. well, as the french couple nearby said “c’est magnifique!”.
and speaking of that couple. i was standing in front of the cabinet, drawing, when they wanted to have a closer look and i stepped back to let the lady look. behind me was a chair and i instinctively rested on it, continuing to draw. a few minutes later, the guard came up to me and asked me to please get off the furniture as it’s incredibly old and fragile!! oh my god, i had been just resting my arse on an 18th century rococco gilted chair, like it was a fucking armchair at home! i was mortified at my own stupidity and so embarassed. i wanted to go up to the guard and tell him “i’m not like the stupid american tourists in the place who ask if the person who owns this house is dead!” “i’m culturally and historically sensitive, really, i just moved to let someone pass and didn’t think!”… but i just would have come off looking even more pathetic than i did.
i finished my drawing and left. too embarassed to even smile at the good-looking door guy. shit.