Manchester Art Gallery visit


Yesterday I went to Manchester and met up with some students from Glyndwr. We originally went to see an illustration exhibition, unfortunately the exhibition had been cancelled so we went to the Manchester Art Gallery.

The Gallery consists of 3 floors of Art and Design. I managed to take some photos from the foyer inside the gallery but from there I was only able to take notes of my favourite pieces and then look them up in more detail after the visit.


Something that really caught my eye located in the Victorian section was the Prometheus Captive Vase from Victor Etienne Simyan 1875. I was intrigued by the bold blue colour and the beautiful detail the most. After seeing the vase I became interested in the story behind the vase.

Photo from

Prometheus comes from mythology as does the story behind the vase. I remember being very interested in mythology as a child and I am certain I will be blogging more about that subject in the near future.


Other works that I found interesting at The Manchester Art Gallery was Laurence Bell-The Hive of Industry

picture taken from Flikr.

 Martin Grimes describes how Laurence Bell created this piece using Linocut printing/acrylics/metallic Marker Pen. Bell,  an Art Intermediate from Chorlton Park Adult learning Centre was inspired by Work Ford Maddox Brown, The Hive represents the Manchester Industry.He uses the Bee part of the city’s coat of arms, to detail this “hive”.

I really like the Linocut Bees the most interesting and the colour selection drawn me towards the piece from a distance like an invitation to see more.


As I grew up around Rhyl, North Wales and spend a lot of time in and around the seaside area it was refreshing to see the work of David Cox dated 1854.

Picture from

According to Rowlands Modern Art, Cox enjoyed a long career as a water-colourist before he took up oil painting in 1840.  North Wales was a favourite haunt of the artist and Rhyl in particular is the subject of several pictures.  The freshness of this work suggests it was done outside, anticipating French Impressionism of the later 1800s.  But Cox’s method is rooted in a direct response which is a recurring feature of Romantic British art.

Oil sketches were not produced for sale or exhibition, but were preparatory studies for finished works, or else personal exercise in their own right.  A larger, more finished version of Cox’s Rhyl Sands is in the Art Gallery at Birmingham, the city of his birth.

obviously a lot has changed from then at Rhyl’s seaside and I think that is the most interesting part from this painting. I also agree that the painting has a freshness from being painted outside and although there is not a large-scale of detail the painting is still intriguingly beautiful.


Exploring further through the Gallery, I found myself looking at paintings by William Ratcliffe. Although some of his work I didn’t find appealing there was one painting that stood out to me, Still life by he fire.

Picture from

This is not the most extravagant piece of Art I have seen but I do like the fact that it is not bold (although I do like bold work), it is not fancy or based on something spectacular. It is just simply, by the fire. A painting from life, as it was.


According to the Manchester Art Gallery, Mary Greg collected everyday domestic objects during the late 1800s and early 1900s. She was particularly interested in pre-industrial handmade objects and wanted to preserve examples of traditional artisan skills. Whilst there are objects on display in the Gallery of the Craft and Design, the majority of this strange and peculiarly engaging collection, which was given to Manchester Art Gallery in 1934, remains in storage.

Since early 2009 group of passionate curators, interpretation developers and artists have been working behind the scenes to re-evaluate the collection and have been documenting their progress on a blog:

As a dolls house owner and lover, I was especially pleased to see the doll house work from Mary Greg.

Picture from 


About bonny83

I am currently studying at Glyndwr University, North Wales School of Art and Design. Design Communication is the main subject body while also looking at a large variety of the many forms of Art. My main interest is illustration and I am considering illustration for children's books for the future. Art and Design has always been a huge part of my life and i am enjoying taking things further for a possible career.

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