A TWO-MONTH exhibition celebrating the work of Chester’s favourite artist begins at the Grosvenor Museum on Saturday.
Louise Rayner: Watercolours of Victorian Chester is a new exhibition showing the museum’s unrivalled collection of 24 pictures which form the largest public collection of her work.
Peter Boughton, the museum’s keeper of art, said: “The much-loved watercolours of Louise Rayner present a uniquely charming vision of Victorian Chester.
“She delighted in the textures of crumbling plaster, weather-beaten timber, peeling posters and rough cobbles.
“Her views of Chester’s picturesque streets are brought vividly to life with ordinary people going about their everyday lives in the sunlit city.”
“She painted major public buildings such as the castle and the Town Hall, famous half-timbered houses such as Bishop Lloyd’s Palace and the Bear and Billet, and long-vanished corners of the historic city such as St Werburgh’s Mount and Harvie’s Almshouses. Louise Rayner has become Chester’s favourite artist, and is admired as much today as in her lifetime.”
Louise Rayner is first recorded at Chester in 1869 from where she sent work to exhibitions in Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and London. In the 1870s and ’80s she spent a couple of months each summer in different British towns and cities and taught watercolour drawing in Chester the 1890’s.
She sold her last drawing in 1918 at the age of 86 and in 1920 moved to St Leonard’s-on-Sea, where she died in 1924.