The collection is the accumulation of five generations of one family.
Each generation added their own twist to their exquisite acquisitions. Italian and French Renaissance paintings. Masters. Armory. Porcelain. Snuff boxes with musicale masterpieces. Furniture. Silver. Decorative pieces. All tastefully displayed as a private collector might, in a grand residence, now 25 galleries including one grand gallery that has just been refurbished.
I have loved the Louvre, the Rijksmuseum, the National Galleries in the US and the UK, The Chicago Art Institute and the Detroit Institute of Arts. But this was my very favorite art experience. It was more up close and personal in a grand space. And it seemed largely low key and FREE. I almost hate to reveal its appeal for fear next time I visit it will be over run.
It is the perfect place to visit on a rainy London day-- or any day. If I lived in London, I might visit a gallery a month, taking two years to consider the details of the collection and then begin again. The galleries were serene and uncrowded.
Embraced by the opulent decor, quiet visitors carefully consider the works Van Eyck, Rubens, Rembrandt, Titian and Hals-- just in ONE of the 25 galleries. Miniature scenes in unbelievable detail layered jeweled snuff boxes. Hard armory and silver shine reflected in gilded mirrors.
The intimacy and perfection of the space was alluring, making a departure, especially onto the soggy streets, seem a ridiculous notion. We had hoped to have tea or lunch in the Wallace Collection's courtyard restaurant, but it was closed for filming of a television segmen. That will have to wait till next time.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.