The collection of prints, oil and watercolour paintings and drawings that formed the Livermore Bequest are of great value in interpreting Turner’s own work and that of his contemporaries, and in relating to early 19th century visual culture and its links to literature.
Many of the prints are after Turner’s work, and he was closely involved in their production, using the potential of this medium to the full. The important coloured drawing by William Havell of Sandycombe Lodge shortly after it was built is a significant element of the collection.
A complete set of the engravings for Thames Scenery (75 in original stitched wrappers), the publication for which this work was made, has been generously donated, which highlights the significance of the landscape and buildings along the river at Richmond and Twickenham, a source of inspiration to Turner and to many other artists. A number of books on Turner and his contemporaries were included in the bequest, and this will be increased as a useful source of reference for study by visitors.
The set of 22 drawings by George Chinnery of Macaon villagers, acquired because of Professor Livermore’s academic background in Portuguese studies, presents an unusual and interesting aspect of early l9th century art, extending the range of the collection’s appeal.
We hope that aspects of the Collection will be made available online after conservation and digitisation.