Pre-Raphaelite Drawings at Lady Lever

Paul O'Keeffe as John Ruskin north-wind.jpg

The best time to visit the Lady Lever Gallery is in the summer. If the weather’s good you can stroll round the picturesque Port Sunlight village and picnic on the grass near the fountain.
It was not quite picnic weather on Thursday but at least it was dry and sunny which all helps add to the romanticism of the pre-raphaelite artwork on display. This is a special exhibition of rare and delicate drawings which rarely see the light of day. The most popular Pre-Raphaelite artists are featured including Edward Burne Jones, Ford Madox Brown, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti as well as John Everett Millais.

Thirty-five drawings from the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Walker Art Gallery and Sudley House collection make up this delightful exhibition. The artworks include pencil, charcoal, chalk, ink and watercolour drawings. They are a mixture of preparatory studies for well-known paintings (some of which can be found amongst the National Museums Liverpool’s permanent collection), as well as stand-alone works.

A remarkable drawing of Cymon and Iphigenia by Millais is included in the exhibition- a new acquisition that has never been shown at a national gallery.

I was talking to Julian Treuherz, keeper of art galleries and Sandra Penketh, head of the Lady Lever Art Gallery about the exhibition when who should appear but John Ruskin himself! He was keen to inform us that he will be giving a witty and controversial talk on pre-raphaelitism at the Lever on February 15th 18.00 – 19.00. OK, its Paul O’Keeffe really but you can barely tell the difference.

Pre-Raphaelite Drawings at Lady Lever until May 14th 2006.