Liverpool artwork of the day – Thursday October 25 2007. ‘A Dress Rehearsal’, 1888 by Albert Chevallier Tayler (1862 – 1925) at Lady Lever
One of the ‘Sunlight Soap’ paintings.
This painting, of a bride trying on her wedding dress, is similar in content to Bacon’s ‘The Wedding Morning’, which Leverhulme also used as an advertisement image. It was published in 1889 bearing the motto ‘As good as new’.
It is known that Tayler was in Newlyn, Cornwall, in 1888. This painting with its slightly sentimental peasant subject matter is a typical and routine image of the Newlyn School painters. This group of artists lived and worked in Newlyn and took their subject matter from the local community.
Leverhulme’s collecting of works from this school, or at least artists inspired by contemporary French naturalism, mark his taste as an advertiser as more ‘progressive’ and adventurous than his personal taste as a collector.