Art in Liverpool

‘There are few provincial towns that can exhibit finer specimens of improvement than Liverpool: and as it may in truth be said of England that ‘her merchants are princes’, so, in this town it may be remarked that their counting-houses are palaces.’

Liverpool is a personal favorite of mine among cities in England to see Victorian art, architecture, and sculpture. In the Walker Art Gallery Liverpool has one of the most important collections of Victorian art. Much of the Victorian centre of the city still exists, including civic buildings, above all St George's Hall, many grand commercial buildings, and much architectural sculpture. Free standing statues are mostly concentrated in the St George's Hall area, with more on the ambitious monument to Queen Victoria at Derby Place, and another enclave in Sefton Park. Not covered on these pages is the enormous Cathedral, or, a half hour away on the metro, the exquisite Lady Lever Art Gallery at Port Sunlight. Nor have I yet done a page here on the Docks area, though I intend to.

Among painters most closely associated with Liverpool are Luke Fildes who was born here, Robert Anning Bell, who taught painting and drawing at the University, Marianne and Adrian Stokes, the Pre-Raphaelite painter William Windus, the great designer Walter Crane, the illustrator and arts and crafts artist Jessie Macgregor, Robert Fowler, Thomas Mostyn and Atkinson Grimshaw.

We should note two important sculptors native to Liverpool, both of whose work can be seen in the city: C. J. Allen and B. E. Spence, and Helen Thornycroft was a member of the city watercolour society.

View along Victoria Street, Liverpool.

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