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The British Royal Art Collection needs returning to the public

December 17th, 2017 10:51 pm

Monarchs are very good at collecting art, they can expropriate vast sums from the public to pay for it, they have huge homes to hang it in, they are well educated to appreciate it and it is a useful tool to aggrandise their own status. So where are the great royal art collections now?

Russia: State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg.
France: The Louvre, Paris.
Spain: Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.
Holland: Mauritshuis, Den Haag.
Austria Hungary Empire: Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
Saxony: Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden.
Great Britain: spread among the Queen’s various homes.

As you can see, one nation still has its national art treasures hidden from the public who paid for it. And what a collection it is, by far the largest “private” collection in the world. As far as we know (there is no publicly accessible inventory) it contains at least 7,000 paintings, 30,000 watercolours and drawings, and about 500,000 prints. By comparison the National Gallery in London has just 2,300 paintings.
We are talking about some amazing art. About 200 Dutch Golden Age pictures including 6 Rembrandts, a Vermeer, a Frans Hals and 7 Jan Steens. An amazing British collection including 33 Gainsboroughs, 50 Thomas Lawrences, 20 Joshua Reynolds, 18 George Stubbs and 100 Landseers. From the Italian Renaissance there are 8 Raphaels (and a huge number of his drawings), 5 Tintorettos, 4 Titians, 3 Veroneses, 12 Giordanos and, famously 600 Leonardo da Vinci drawings, among many much more. And so it goes on. This one “private” collection is actually better than many of the world’s great public art galleries. It takes a staff of 29 curators and 32 conservationists to run it.

Admittedly the Queen loans out some of this work, admittedly there are exhibitions (£10 to get in, after we already paid for this work!) of small bits of the collection at the Queen’s Gallery, next to Buckingham Palace and admittedly you can glimpse some of it on guided tours of the royal palaces. But the vast majority is unavailable to the public. Even Buckingham Palace is only open to the public for two months a year. Which is all, frankly, immoral. That the Queen, purely as an accident of birth, gets to “own” a huge chunk of the world’s greatest art for her own entertainment, denying the people who paid for it access, really is utterly appalling.

We need change. The entire Royal art collection should be available online, to everyone, immediately. The National Gallery, Tate, British Museum and V&A need extensions, then the Royal collection needs moving into these public institutions, for the world to see. The National Gallery would become by far the worlds best art museum. Many, many times more people would visit Britain to see this than come to the UK to “see” the Royals. This amazing art would be seen by many millions of people every year. The Queen can put copies of the work up in her houses if she wants.

There is precedent for this, the National Library (then part of the British Museum) was gifted the King’s Library (65,000 books) in 1823 by King George IV as was the Old Royal Library (2,000 manuscripts), donated by King George II in 1757. So these are now public property for anyone to see. What is good enough for books must surely be good enough for art.

Read more at here https://www.bruceonarthistory.com/


October 18th, 2017 8:57 pm

Welcome to Irena Orlov on Etsy! Here you will find a whimsical, varied collection of original art and prints. Whether you’re shopping for the perfect statement piece for your home or business or treating an art-loving friend to a gift she’ll cherish for a lifetime, you’ll love creating a home gallery with these original paintings.

My name is Irena and I’m the proud owner and painter of this shop. As a child, I had always been drawn by the looming magic and beauty of art. I created a successful career in architecture and eventually began dealing with fine art. With new excitement, I began to experiment with different mediums to express my emotions on the canvas. During the creative process, I don’t limit myself to a specific style or medium. The result is a mixed media visual art story of my life. It isn’t uncommon for me to move from photography to oil paints on a whim.

I welcome customers to make these small parts of me a part of their hearts and homes. Every piece is intended to be open to interpretation so that you walk away with what you need to experience. A maker at heart, even in my spare time you’ll find me creating art and capturing spontaneous moments to be suspended on canvas.

Thank you for taking the time to get to know me.
I hope you enjoy my collection of spirited mixed media original art pieces as much as I enjoyed creating them for you!