Study day: Collections, collaborations and displays
The study day, organised by the National Gallery and National Museum Wales and supported by The Pilgrim Trust, formed part of the Subject Specialist Network: European Paintings pre-1900.
Collectors and displays
National Museum of Wales Cardiff Redisplays: ‘Collecting paintings in Wales pre-1800. The case of Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn (1749-1789)’
Oliver Fairclough, Keeper of Art, National Museum Wales
Oliver gave a clear description of the refurbishment project for the new display of paintings in the National Museum of Wales, now called the National Museum of Art.
He then gave an outline of the life of Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, one of the greatest art patrons of his day. On the Grand Tour of Europe from 1768-9, Williams-Wynn had himself painted with his companions in Rome by Pompeo Batoni, and this painting now provides a focal point for the 18th-century gallery in the museum. He also commissioned several works from Sir Joshua Reynolds including the portrait of his wife, ‘Charlotte Grenville and her children’ also in the gallery.
More about Wales’ National Museum of Art [external link]
Find out more about Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn on the Museum of Wales website [external link]
The Douglas-Pennant Collection at Penrhyn Castle
Alastair Laing, Curator of Paintings and Sculpture, National Trust
Edward Douglas-Pennant (1800-1886) married the heiress to Penryhn Castle in 1833, and he became 1st Baron Penryhn of Llandygai in 1866. He was also a great collector of art, and his collection in Penryhn Castle is a rare survival of a 19th-century collection. He bought his pictures through the most reputable dealers, and was also concerned that they had a strong provenance of previous distinguished collectors.
Alastair outlined the wide range of paintings that Douglas-Pennant purchased, which include some Spanish paintings. Sadly, Jan Steen’s ’A burgomaster of Delft and his daughter‘ is now owned by the Rijksmuseum, but at present Rembrandt’s ‘Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaett’ remains in the collection.
Find out more about Penryhn Castle on the National Trust website [external link]
The Richard Glynn Vivian Bequest at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea
Kirstine Brander Dunthorne, researcher, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea
The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery is undergoing a major refurbishment project, which will enable the redisplay of the collection formed by Richard Glynn Vivian, much of which will be on public display for the first time.
Richard Glynn Vivian (1835-1910) became a great philanthropist and art collector, particularly of paintings and ceramics. In addition to his worldwide travels, he travelled extensively in Europe and wrote meticulous details of his purchases in his diary, noting prices and provenance and making little sketches.
Kirstine showed many paintings which are now being reattributed and noted that more research needs to be carried out. The paintings were catalogued by Bryony Dawkes for the National Inventory of Continental European Paintings.