PRN: 3,000 Oil Paintings From National Museums Liverpool Join the 'Your Paintings' Website

20/feb/2012 12.52.46 PR Newswire Turismo Contatta l'autore

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3,000 Oil Paintings From National Museums Liverpool Join the 'Your Paintings' Website


LONDON, February 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

- Public Invited to Tag Paintings to Help Build a National Online Catalogue

The Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF), in partnership with the BBC, today announced that all oil paintings in National Museums Liverpool have been added to the Your Paintings website for the nation to enjoy. Your Paintings is a project to create a complete online catalogue of every oil painting in the national collection, whether on display or in store, at

Paintings by Old Masters such as Gainsborough, Martini, Rembrandt and Rubens, along with later works by artists such as Cézanne, Degas, Freud, Monet and Spencer are among the 3,000 paintings from National Museums Liverpool that can now be seen on Your Paintings. The National Museums Liverpool collection joins 3,150 other paintings from 35 collections across Merseyside that joined the site in 2011.  

The National Museums Liverpool paintings are drawn from seven museum sites in Liverpool. These include the Lady Lever Art Gallery and the Walker Art Gallery which both boast outstanding collections of paintings including Old Masters, Victorian art, notably Pre-Raphaelite works, and post-war British painting. Important holdings of paintings can also be found at Sudley House and The Museum of Liverpool. Merseyside Maritime Museum's collection of marine artworks serves to remind us that the sea and shipping are key to Liverpool's identity, whilst the smaller collection at the UK Border Agency National Museum gives a fascinating glimpse of British social and political history. Together these collections provide a unique insight into the history and artistic heritage Liverpool.

To help the BBC and PCF identify and catalogue what can be seen in each painting, the public is being invited to 'tag' the nation's paintings. Tagging is fun, easy and you don't need to be an art expert to do it. The results will allow future users of the Your Paintings website to find paintings of subjects that interest them. Your Paintings Tagger is at


Ann Bukantas, Head of Fine Art, National Museums Liverpool, said: "This project means thousands of works can be enjoyed by people all around the globe. We expect that many people will be inspired by these works and will be encouraged to experience the wonder of fantastic art in person through visiting our galleries and museums."

"The Your Paintings website is a great resource so we hope that it will also stimulate future research into the works in our collection. The Your Paintings website complements our own website at which features world-class art of many kinds at all our venues."

Andrew Ellis, Director, the Public Catalogue Foundation, said: "No country has ever embarked on such a monumental project to showcase its entire painting collection online. Working with collections and individuals all over the UK, this project will reveal to the world the UK's extraordinary holding of oil paintings."

Roly Keating, Director of Archive Content, BBC, said: "Our partnership with the PCF encapsulates so many of the BBC's ambitions, both as a public service broadcaster and key supporter of the UK arts sector. Your Paintings will be a hugely valuable learning resource for our audience and demonstrates the power of working with partners to open up the nation's cultural resources."


Richards, Albert 1919-1945
The Seven Legends: Self Portrait 1939
© the copyright holder
Tempera on board 73 x 55cm

Richards was born in Liverpool, studied at Wallasey Art School and won a scholarship in 1940 to study painting at the Royal College of Art in London. He was soon called up for war service. In December 1943 he became the youngest Official War Artist. He became a paratrooper and parachuted into France during the D-Day landings. On 5th March 1945 he set off to paint a night attack by Allied troops but was killed when he drove over an enemy mine. This self-portrait was inspired by the work of the Surrealists after seeing Surrealist works in a Walker Art Gallery exhibition in 1938. Richards imagines himself in a dream-like landscape with devils and demons.


Hunt, William Holman 1827-1910
The Scapegoat 1854
Oil on canvas 87 x 140cm
Lady Lever Art Gallery

Hunt had an interest in religious subjects and a determination to paint directly from Nature. After buying a rare goat he spent time in Oosdoom, painting the distant mountains and making sketches of the goat that died on the cold journey home to Jerusalem that winter. By early 1855, Hunt had purchased another goat and completed its image and the sky in his Jerusalem studio. In his diary he describes standing the long-suffering goat in a tray of salt and mud, collected in Oosdoom, to create the dried and cracked lake shore beneath his hoofs. The painting was not completed in time for the Royal Academy exhibition of 1856. People were puzzled by the subject of the painting and were generally uncomplimentary.


Freud, Lucian 1922-2011
Interior at Paddington 1951
© estate of Lucian Freud
Oil on canvas 152 x 114cm

This was one of 60 works by different artists made for the 1951 Festival of Britain. The event was organised as a way of looking to the future after the Second World War. The setting is Freud's London studio. The man is his friend Harry Diamond, a Cockney photographer. Freud paints his friend in a realistic style but the sense of isolation and the large spiky plant create an uneasy atmosphere. The painting took six months. Diamond posed for it almost daily. He complained that Freud made his legs look too short. Freud said they were too short.


Hogarth, William 1697-1764
David Garrick as Richard III 1745
Oil on canvas 190 x 250
WalkerArt Gallery

A portrait of the great actor in a famous role: Shakespeare's Richard III. In his tent on Bosworth field the night before the battle, the King starts up from bad dreams: "the lights burn blue! Is it not dead midnight? Cold fearful drops hang upon my trembling flesh ..." A sinister note lies crumpled beneath his helmet. It says that the King has been betrayed by elements of his army, and is doomed. Hogarth was a close friend of Garrick and probably undertook this portrait as a publicity venture. It is significant both as the first great British theatrical portrait, and for the way that it looks like a history painting. The viewer is encouraged to think that the actual historical event is happening, rather than a performance on stage.


Jenkinson, John P. active 1790-1821
Armed Vessel in the Mersey off Birkenhead
Oil on canvas 81 x 112cm
Merseyside Maritime Museum

This work shows an armed vessel departing from the Mersey with a view of the Wirral coastline in the background. The vessel is mostly likely to be a merchantman and may have been built as a guineaman or slave ship. The view in the background shows the Wirral coastline with the entrance to the former Wallasey Pool behind the stern of the main vessel. To the left of this, on the hillside in the distance, is the Bidston Lighthouse and signal station. To the right is a wooded area north of Seacombe. Despite the fact that Jenkinson is an important Liverpool artist very little is known about his career. Works by him were shown at the Liverpool Academy between 1810 and 1814.


Strudwick, John Melhuish 1849-1937
Saint Cecilia c.1896
Oil on panel 33 x 28cm
Sudley House

Strudwick was a disciple of Burne-Jones. His influence is clearly seen in this work. Strudwick meticulously thought out every aspect of his paintings and invented every detail himself. St Cecilia is the patron saint of music. Strudwick shows her looking not up to heaven, but down, 'because I think earth's sweetest music is not an echo of heaven's music, but something quite different…I have made my angel sad-faced because there's always a sadness in our mortal songs.' The painting was commissioned by George Holt and was intended as a companion work for Rossetti's Two Mothers, also in the collection at Sudley House.


Notes to Editors

About Your Paintings

Your Paintings is a partnership project between the BBC and the Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) to put the United Kingdom's entire collection of oil paintings online at This website is emerging as a unique learning resource, showing not only photographs and information about each painting but also selected BBC TV archive footage and links to further information. The website was launched at the National Gallery in the summer of 2011. Currently, the site shows around 110,000 paintings from over 1,400 collections.

In total, the national oil painting collection amounts to some 200,000 works, held in 3,000 galleries, museums, universities, hospitals and other public institutions from across the UK, making it one of the largest and most diverse collections of paintings in the world. The plan is for all these paintings to be online by the end of 2012.

With the help of crowd-sourcing technology pioneered by the Astrophysics Department at the University of Oxford to classify galaxies, and art historical input from the University of Glasgow, the public are being invited to go online and help classify or 'tag' the paintings catalogued by the PCF so that in due course the paintings can be searchable by subject matter. Paintings can be tagged by visiting

About the Public Catalogue Foundation

The PCF is a registered charity. It was launched in 2003 to create a photographic record of all the oil paintings in public ownership in the United Kingdom. In addition to publishing its work online, the PCF is also publishing a series of printed catalogues.

The painstaking research to locate the paintings up and down the country and collate the data has been carried out by 50 researchers. Over 30 fine art photographers have been employed to take photographs of these paintings over the life of the project. London-based staff focus on fundraising, processing and editing the data that comes in from the field, and clearing copyright.

The PCF is funded principally by grants and donations. Under 20 per cent of its funding comes from the public sector. Whilst many hundreds of individuals and institutions have supported its work, the PCF's principal funders are Arts Council England, Christie's, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, The Monument Trust, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the Wolfson Foundation.

The PCF was founded by Dr Fred Hohler. Its Trustees are Charles Gregson (Chairman of the PCF), Robert Hiscox (Chairman of Hiscox plc), Menna McGregor (Clerk of the Mercers' company), Alex Morrison (Founder and Managing Managing Director of Cogapp), Richard Roundell (Vice-Chairman of Christie's UK), Marc Sands (Director of Audiences and Media at Tate), Dr Charles Saumarez Smith (Chief Executive of the Royal Academy), Graham Southern (Founding Director of Blain Southern) and the artist Alison Watt. The Director is Andrew Ellis.

For more information go to

About BBC Online

BBC Online is BBC's portfolio of websites, available at It comprises ten Products - News, Sport, Weather, CBBC, CBeebies, Knowledge & Learning, Homepage, Search, TV & iPlayer and Radio & Music. In April 2011, it had 31.7 million unique browsers and was the fourth most popular website in the UK. It is the only UK-owned website in the UK top ten. Your Paintings is part of Knowledge & Learning.

The BBC creates partnerships with the arts sector that go beyond broadcast, from sharing expertise to widening public engagement in UK arts.

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