Hollytrees Museum, Colchester

The Hollytrees Museum in Colchester is a fairly modest collection of 18th and 19th Century works, and combines nicely with the mainly much older material displayed in the adjacent Castle (see Colchester page).

For the purposes of these pages, the most interesting room is a small one on the ground floor, devoted to Arts and Crafts. This contains items by A. H. Mackmurdo and Selwyn Image of the Century Guild, and a few representative de Morgan and Martin Brothers bowls, plates and vases. There is a rather splendid copper dish by Thorwaldsen, showing a Garden of Eden, with Adam and Eve central under the tree, angels, deity, naturalistic vegetative and animal life, and on the outside, winged serpents. Thorwaldsen is greatly relevant to British art in that he had such an influence on many British sculptors.

Among the rest of the historical items on show, there is a small collection of oil paintings, mainly portraits. We may mention a sideburned portrait of Benjamin Revett Cant, late 19th Century, by Charles Head, two big type specimens of school children by Frank Daniell (1866-1932) of little merit, and a Nether Hall by Josiah Parish of Colchester (1834-1882). There are also pictures by the French artist Pissarro.

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Colchester // Victorian art in Britain