Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wallington - Northumberland

Huge pre-Raphaelite paintings depicting the history of Northumberland
Impressive series of murals by William Bell Scott, a keen associate of the Pre-Raphaelites.
Executed around the same time as the Oxford Union Murals, the Wallington Murals consist of eight main panels painted between 1857 and 1862 on canvas, and subsequently fixed to the walls of the main hall.
The frieze tells the story of Northumbria from the building of Hadrian's Wall to the growth of industrial Tyneside and is the centrepiece to Wallington's Pre-Raphaelite decorative scheme.

The pillars between the main panels are also of interest with herbaceous designs contributed by various guests. These included that great adherent to Pre-Raphaelite doctrines, Arthur Hughes and that champion of them John Ruskin.
Wallington also offers the chance to take in some good examples of Pre-Raphaelite sculpture. A particular favourite is Thomas Woolner’s mother-and-child with its bizarre base – depicting graphic scenes of early savagery. There are other Woolner's and also works by Alexander Munro, who was encouraged by Rossetti.

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