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Walker Art Gallery to showcase treasures in Renaissance Rediscovered

The Walker Art Gallery’s medieval, Renaissance and Baroque galleries will reopen to the public in July following a three-year, £4.5million refurbishment.

The four treasure-filled rooms in the William Brown Street landmark – coming together under the title Renaissance Rediscovered - include five centuries of extraordinary works by artists like Titian, Michaelangelo, Murillo, Rembrandt, Rubens and Hans Holbein.

The refurbishment includes the result of fresh interpretation and research, while new environmental controls means that some of the Walker’s huge collection of drawings, prints and watercolours by British and international artists can be put on public display for the first time in their own dedicated Prints and Drawings Gallery.

Ceramics, carvings, glass, textiles, metalwork and jewellery spanning five centuries – many of them a bequest from 19th Century Liverpool goldsmith and collector Joseph Mayer – will also be on show, along with a huge early 16th Century Brussels tapestry, The Triumph of Fortitude, whose intricate scenes will be enhanced by a digital interactive.

And the reopening will give the venue the chance to put on show new acquisitions for the first time, including Giovanni Andrea Sirani’s Allegory of Painting and Music.

Above: A conservator working on Sirani's Allegory of Painting and Music ahead of the reopening of the Walker's Renaissance Rediscovered galleries. Photo by Gareth Jones.

Kate O’Donoghue, NML Curator of International Fine Art, said: “Through remarkable paintings, prints, drawings, decorative art and sculpture, the galleries explore centuries of human creativity and expression. With fresh interpretation and thoughtful design, they will also explore stories that have been historically excluded in these spaces.

“We hope this transformation will allow visitors not only to marvel at the considerable skill and artistry on display but also to appreciate that however many centuries separate us, art will always find ways for us to connect with our past.”

Many of the works in the care of the Walker originally belonged to Liverpool lawyer, banker, biographer, poet, politician and abolitionist William Roscoe who was forced to sell his treasured collection when facing bankruptcy 200 years ago.

The current refurbishment has been assisted by funding from the UK Government, Art Fund, Henry Moore Foundation, Tavolozza Foundation and Art Friends Merseyside.

National Museums Liverpool is also inviting art lovers to help through the Renaissance Rediscovered Appeal. More details HERE

The Walker’s Renaissance Rediscovered galleries reopen on July 29.


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