|Click image to enlarge.Blackheath Park|
William Mulready, 1852
The Victoria & Albert Museum
Chances are, you don’t spend as much time poking around the collections of the V&A as I do. Maybe you do. If you were to do so, you’d notice that a good many of the paintings were given to the Victoria & Albert Museum by one John Sheepshanks. Sheepshanks was a hugely prolific collector of art and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his dogged dedication to preserving these masterpieces.
Sheepshanks, being a patron of the arts, enjoyed friendships with many of the greatest artists of the Victorian era. Among them was the Irish-born William Mulready (1786-1863).
Mulready created this piece in 1852, especially for Sheepshanks. The painting depicts the view across the park from the gate of John Sheepshank’s commodious home in Blackheath, South London. Sheepshanks loved this view of fields, trees and water and was especially pleased with the painting which a critic described as “a refreshing green bit of nature.”