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The Wallace Collection is a small private museum in the Marylebone quarter of London. There are only about 5500 exhibits in it, they are unique in their quality. The Wallace Collection is the finest collection of 18th century French art in the world, including paintings, porcelain and antiques.
The collection was founded by the Earl of Hertford from the Seymour-Conway family, who bought paintings by the"old masters" to decorate the mansion in Manchester Square. In 1870, the mansion passed to Richard Wallace, who was so captivated by the French Rococo culture, having spent half his life in Paris and buying up the work of the masters, he was buried in the Pere Lachaise cemetery, and after his death, as a sign of his love for the city, on some streets drinking fountains were installed -"Wallace fountains". The collector's widow bequeathed her husband's collection to Britain in 1897 so that Hertford House would be open to the public; it was also agreed that no exhibit will leave the museum, and the collection will never be replenished. The visitor can see the Wallace collection in its original form.
The exhibits of the collection are presented in the unique setting of the mansion: here you can see an extensive collection of works by French artists - Boucher, Watteau, Greuze, Fragonard; collection of porcelain, antique French furniture. There are also exhibits that do not belong to the 18th century - there are works by Gericault, Delacroix, Corot, Titian, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Rubens, Canaletto, Murillo, Hals, Gainsborough, Velasquez, Reynolds. The large living room of Hertford House displays the works of the renowned French marquetry and cabinetmaker Andre-Charles Boulle, in particular, the Rococo chest of drawers in Louis XV's bedroom at the Palace of Versailles, the dressing table of Queen Marie Antoinette. The Wallaces were rich and bought all such curiosities at any price.
In the Halls of the Wallace Collection, there are more than five hundred sculptures from major European art schools from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. Among them is the magnificent French bronze of the 18th century. Also here you can see an extensive collection of weapons and armor, Sevres porcelain, majolica, Limoges enamels. The collection contains at least one real relic - the bell of St. Mura.
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Topic: Wallace Collection in Great Britain, London Resort.