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Hertford House, Manchester Square, W1
Nearest Tube: Bond Street
|When Sir Richard Wallace died in 1890, he left this extensive collection of paintings and decorative art to his wife. When she died a few years later, she bequeathed it to the nation, and it has been open to the public ever since.|
The collection had been built up over five generations having been started by the first Marquess of Hertford in the 18th century. When the fourth Marquess of Hertford died the collection passed to his illegetimate son Richard Wallace, after whom the collection is now named.
Much of the art collection consists of pieces dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. Many are from France, but Dutch and Venetian art is also well represented. Highlights include the Laughing Cavalier by Fans Hals and works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Watteau, and Poussin.
Other than paintings, the gallery also has an excellent collection of armour, the second largest in Britain after the Tower of London. And there are some beautiful examples of French furnishings from the reigns of Louis XV and XVI.
The Wallace Collection is open daily, from 10am-5pm Mondays to Saturdays and from 2pm-5pm on Sundays. Entry is free and there are also free guided tours available.
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