Volunteers' art critique

Sir George and Lady Labouchere

Sir George and Rachel, Lady Labouchere shared a love of art but their tastes differed quite dramatically. Sir George had a passion for Modern and Spanish Art, as reflected in the Modern Art and Spanish Galleries that you can see at Dudmaston today. Rachel preferred Botanical paintings and some of her collection is shown in the Botanical Gallery.

Each month Hall Volunteer's Geoff and Lizzie present one of their favourite pieces from each of the collections.

Here Geoff discusses La Tour by Vieira de Silva

Vieira da Silva’s artistic talents were obvious at the early age of 11 years when she began attending Lisbon’s Academia de Belas-Artes. Within a few years she was studying painting with Fernand Leger and engraving with Stanley William Hayter.

In the 1930s Maria began producing her characteristic works, of which La Tour is a very good example. Although this painting is considered abstract it is not “pure” abstract art. This piece of art suggests an intention towards an architectural structure. The dynamic lines and composition of shapes help create an illusion of space and gives perspective.

Much of Helena`s work was inspired by the bridge at Marseilles and designs by Gustave Eiffel, an influence which can certainly be seen in her “Tower”.

‘When I paint a landscape or a seascape I`m not very sure that is what I am creating. It is a thought form rather than a realistic form.’

Lizzie discusses a portrait of Francis Wolryche

This distant ancestor of Rachel Labouchere is immortalised here in the earliest painting we have in our collection at Dudmaston. Unfortunately we do not know who painted this accomplished portrait in oils.  

The detailed flaming winged hearts on the collar and cuffs is Catholic iconography indicating that Francis was unafraid to display his allegiance to the old religion no longer tolerated by Queen Elizabeth I.

Francis Wolryche would not have known the present house which dates from a century after this portrait was painted.  A map from 1560 however shows a substantial house (probably near the site of the present orchard) and later records show 24 hearths.  Francis must have been master of a very large household. He now lies in a gilded marble tomb in Quatt church.