When Stanislas was forced to abdicate in 1795, art dealers Francis Bourgeois and Noel Desenfans were unable to sell the paintings, which were eventually donated to Dulwich College. So it was that one of the world’s greatest collections of Old Masters ended up in an unassuming corner of London. While Soane’s building is undoubtedly an architectural masterpiece, it is the paintings that bring most visitors to Dulwich Picture Gallery. The collection is small but perfectly formed, featuring important works by many of the greatest names in seventeenth and eighteenth-century art with representations from all the major national styles – Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch and British. Hung in its galleries can be found masterpieces including Rembrandt’s ‘Girl at a Window’, Reni’s ‘St Sebastian’ and Murillo’s ‘Flower Girl’, as well as outstanding paintings by Poussin, Canaletto and Gainsborough.
Led by a writer, art historian and Context guide, Dr Alan Montgomery, this seminar will explore one of London’s best (but least known) museums. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a better understanding of the story of this unique institution and an overview of its unrivalled art collection.
About Your Expert
Alan Montgomery was born and raised in Scotland but has spent most of his adult life in London. Having achieved an MA in Art History at Glasgow University, he worked for many years in the art world at both an international auction house and an antique dealer. In recent years he has returned to academia, achieving an MA in Classical Civilisation in 2011, and has recently completed a Ph.D. in which he analyzed eighteenth-century attitudes towards the ancient Roman world. In addition to his work for Context Travel, Alan also writes catalog essays on Contemporary Art for a leading auctioneer. Elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 2017, his first book, entitled 'Classical Caledonia', was published by Edinburgh University Press in August 2020.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.