Meet the Expert
Meet The Expert
In this series, a member of the Curatorial Department explores their specialist area of the Collection in two different ways: a short Expert's Choice film delves deeply into the story behind one object, and a free online talk introduces works of art in a broader context.
For details of forthcoming Meet the Expert talks, please see our What's On pages.
An Armenian Armour in Isfahan
Isfahan, the old capital of Iran, has been home to a substantial Armenian community since the early seventeenth century. A centre of artistic excellence, the Armenian neighbourhood of New Julfa saw its fortunes rise and fall over subsequent centuries. This month, Arthur Bijl explores New Julfa’s unique place in the history of Iranian art through an armour made in the neighbourhood in 1844.
The Wallace Collection's Smallest Treasures
We invite you to explore a real treasure of our collection: our beautiful miniatures. In the Wallace, they are displayed behind glass in cabinets but they were in fact intended to be viewed at very close quarters, and to be held, carried and worn. They are very intimate in character and are enormously rewarding when examined in close detail. They reveal the individual styles of the artists who created them (including some notable women artists) and their remarkable skill in depicting scintillating surface detail and conveying personality and mood, all on a tiny scale.
Spectacle in Venice in the 18th Century
The Wallace Collection holds an impressive collection of vedute, or topographical views, of Venice by Canaletto and Guardi, and by artists working in Canaletto’s circle. In this talk, Dr Lelia Packer discusses a selection of these works in order to explore Venice as a major tourist destination during the 18th century. What did visitors come to see? What did they do during their visit? And, most importantly, how was the city recorded in paint for them?
Celebrate! The 150th anniversary of the “Wallace” fountains of Paris
It is 150 years since the first ‘Wallace’ fountains were installed in Paris in 1872, following the devastating upheavals of the Franco-Prussian War and Commune of 1870-71. The original fountains were gifted to the city of Paris by Sir Richard Wallace. In celebration of this landmark year, the Expert’s Choice video below further explores the fascinating history of the ‘Wallace’ fountain at Hertford House.
Tobias Capwell: The Renaissance Master Armourer Anton Peffenhauser
Dr Tobias Capwell, Curator of Arms and Armour, explores the life and work of the Renaissance armourer Anton Peffenhauser (1525-1603). A master of the city of Augsburg in Germany, Peffenhauser was hugely prolific – a great success story in the history of armour – sculpting fine war and tournament armours for the powerful noblemen all over Europe.
Find out more in the Expert’s Choice film ‘Seven Armours from Augsburg’ below, and join us for an online discussion between Toby and Dr Holger Schuckelt, Curator of Armour for the State Art Museums, Dresden and the world’s foremost expert on Anton Peffenhauser.
Ada de Wit: Silver
Dr Ada de Wit, Curator of Works of Art and Sculpture, explores some of the highlights of the silver collection.
Learn here about the Augsburg Service, a dazzling 18th-century toilet service.
Find out more in Ada's Meet the Expert talk, in which Ada and her guest, Dirk Jan Biemond, Curator of Metalwork at the Rijksmuseum, discuss how Sir Richard Wallace and the Rijksmuseum acquired their remarkable silver collections, focusing on examples of Dutch silver.
Félix Zorzo: Inspired By Nature
For this Expert’s Choice video, join Félix Zorzo, Curatorial Assistant and cover for the 18th-century French Decorative Arts, for an introduction to a mesmerising early 18th-century writing-desk, currently on display in our temporary exhibition, Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts.
To learn more, join Félix 's Meet the Expert talk, Letting Nature In, in which he discusses how decorative art pieces at the Wallace Collection reflect 18th-century interests in the natural world, as French designers, sculptors and craftsmen sought inspiration from nature for their innovative creations in the Régence and Rococo styles.
Akemi Luisa Herráez Vossbrink: David Roberts' Travels
In this Expert's Choice video, join Enriqueta Harris Frankfort Curatorial Fellow, Dr Akemi Luisa Herráez Vossbrink and discover the Scottish artist, David Roberts, through a selection of his works held in the Wallace Collection.
To learn more about Roberts, you can watch our Meet the Expert talk, where Dr Herráez Vossbrink is joined by Professor Claudia Hopkins, Director of Durham University’s Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art, to discuss Roberts's travels throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Suzanne Higgott: Two Painted Enamel Plates from Limoges
Join Suzanne Higgott, Curator of Glass, Limoges Painted Enamels, Earthenware and Early Furniture, in taking a close look at two jewel-like painted enamel plates made in Limoges in the sixteenth century. For more from Suzanne, watch the live Meet the Expert talk from March, where she is joined by former keeper in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Dr Julia Poole, to discuss the 'Joseph Plates' and artists who made them.
Ada de Wit: The Gold Cups of Eternal Stability
Follow Ada de Wit, Curator of Works of Art, as she examines a pair of Chinese gold cups and their role in the celebration of the New Year at the Qianlong Emperor’s Court. For more information about these ritual objects, their cultural context and the use of kingfisher feathers in decoration, join us for February’s Meet the Expert talk, where Ada will be in conversation with Dr Qin Cao, Senior Curator of Chinese, Korean, Himalayan and Mongolian collections at the National Museum of Scotland.
Arthur Bijl: Talking About Daggers
Follow Arthur Bijl, Hutton McRoberts Assistant Curator of Ottoman, Middle Eastern and Asian Arms and Armour, as he considers the cultural role daggers played in the Ottoman Empire through the poetic inscriptions on one enigmatic dagger from the sixteenth century. For more information about daggers at the Wallace Collection, watch our free Meet the Expert talk, where Arthur discusses a unique dagger made in medieval Herat.
Tobias Capwell: Fragments of an Imperial Armour
Dr Tobias Capwell, Curator of Arms and Armour, takes a closer look at the surviving fragments of an imperial armour, made by master armourer Konrad Seusenhofer. To discover more about Seusenhofer, watch our free Meet the Expert talk, where Dr Capwell discusses the life and career of one of the greatest armourers of the 16th century.
Yuriko Jackall: The Swing
Jean-Honoré Fragonard's treasured rococo painting The Swing has recently undergone gentle cleaning and conservation. Yellowed varnish has been removed, which has revealed Fragonard's original colour palette and has emphasised the painting's original depth and composition. Learn more about the story behind The Swing in this month's Expert's Choice video.
Lelia Packer: Frans Hals and the Male Portrait
Lelia Packer, our Curator of Dutch, Italian, Spanish, German and Pre-1600 Paintings, explores male portraiture as part of the exhibition Frans Hals: The Male Portrait (22 September 2021 – 30 January 2022). The exhibition celebrates Frans Hals’s most famous and beloved painting, The Laughing Cavalier, in the first ever show to focus solely on Hals’s portraits of men posing on their own.
Learn more about this landmark exhibition with our free online talk, Frans Hals and The Male Portrait, available now on YouTube.
Arthur Bijl: From The Guarded Domains of Iran
Our Hutton McRoberts Assistant Curator of Ottoman, Middle Eastern and Asian Arms and Armour, Arthur Bijl, invites you to take a closer look at the arms and armour of the reunited 'Guarded Domains of Iran' during the reigns of the early Qajar kings.
Learn more about an exceptional body armour bearing the name of Fath-’Ali Shah Qajar, and the complex role traditional arms and armour played in early nineteenth-century Iran, with our free online talk, From the Guarded Domains of Iran, available now on YouTube.
Behind the Scenes
Over the past months, the Meet the Expert series has offered a deep dive into wide-ranging subjects such as the magnificence of arms and armour, the splendour of Philip IV's court, the ground colours of Sèvres porcelain, and a reconsideration of painter and draftsman Antoine Watteau on the 300th anniversary of his death.
In August, members of the Curatorial team came together to offer an insight into their work and their careers. Find out more in their online talk, available now on YouTube.
Yuriko Jackall: Watteau, 300 years later
Our Head of Curatorial and Curator of French Paintings, Dr Yuriko Jackall, invites you to take a close look at the work of Antoine Watteau whose paintings are as alluring and mysterious today as they were three centuries ago.
Learn more about Watteau with our free online talk, Watteau at 300, available now on YouTube.
Lucy Davis: Rubens's Great Landscapes
Our Curator of British and Flemish Paintings, Lucy Davis, explores the ways in which Rubens developed the tradition of landscape painting and how oil sketches were an important part of his creative process.
To accompany this month's Meet the Expert content, we also explore another masterpiece of Flemish painting, An Allegory of True Love, by Pieter Pourbus.
Explore more in our In Focus: An Allegory of True Love article, or discover our whole range of Flemish paintings in our Flemish Painting Trail.
Learn more about Rubens's great landscapes with our free online talk, Rubens: Reuniting the Great Landscapes, available now on YouTube.
Ada de Wit: Sir Richard Wallace’s Cabinet of Treasures
Our Curator of Works of Art and Sculpture, Ada de Wit, looks at the concept of the Kunstkammer or cabinet of curiosities and how this Renaissance tradition of collecting exceptional treasures from around the world was interpreted in the late nineteenth century by collectors such as Sir Richard Wallace.
Learn more about the Kunstkammer with our free online talk, Collecting Treasures: Grünes Gewölbe in Dresden and the Wallace Collection, available now on YouTube.
Félix Zorzo: The Ground Colours of Sèvres Porcelain
Curatorial Assistant Félix Zorzo delves into the wide range of ground colours used by the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory in eighteenth-century Paris. From deep blue to bright pink, the intensity and variety of colours with which Sèvres artisans covered their creations set them apart from competitors, and helped establish a particularly French style.
Tune into Félix Zorzo's free online talk, The Ground Colours of Sèvres Porcelain, now live on YouTube.
Suzanne Higgott: Venetian Glass in the Wallace Collection
Our Curator of Glass, Limoges Painted Enamels, Earthenware and Early Furniture, Suzanne Higgott, explores the Venetian Glass of the Wallace Collection and the history of its popularity with nineteenth-century collectors in two exciting entries into the series.
Tune into Suzanne Higgotts's free online talk, The Magic of Venetian Glass, now live on YouTube.
Natalia Muñoz-Rojas: Philip IV’s Court
Our Enriqueta Harris Frankfort Curatorial Assistant, Natalia Muñoz-Rojas, explores the Wallace Collection's masterpieces attributed to Velázquez and his school, the history behind the Habsburgs and the Spanish Empire, and the splendid artworks of the Court of Philip IV.
Tune into Natalia Muñoz-Rojas's free online talk, Velázquez or Mazo? Philip IV Court Painters, now live on YouTube.
Helen Jacobsen: Riesener in the Nineteenth Century
Our Curator of French Eighteenth-Century Decorative Arts, Dr Helen Jacobsen, explores Riesener's masterworks currently housed at the Wallace Collection, as well as the appetite for Riesener's craftsmanship in the nineteenth-century Collector's market.
Tune into Dr Helen Jacobsen's free online talk, Copies, Fakes and Reproductions: A closer look at works in the Wallace Collection, now live on YouTube.
Tobias Capwell: Armour as Renaissance Art
Curator of Arms and Armour, Dr Tobias Capwell, explores the materials and techniques found in the breath-taking European Armouries as well as taking us on a tour of some of the greatest armours on display in the Collection in his digital trail, Armour as Renaissance Art.