AN EXHIBITION celebrating the work of Chester’s favourite artist is now on show at the Grosvenor Museum.
Louise Rayner: Watercolours of Victorian Chester displays the museum’s unrivalled group of 24 pictures, which form the largest public collection of her work.
“The much-loved watercolours of Louise Rayner present a uniquely charming vision of Victorian Chester,” said Cllr Stuart Parker, executive member for culture and recreation.
“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.
“Louise Rayner has become Chester’s favourite artist, and is admired as much today as in her lifetime.”
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 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 1890s and 1900s. She left Chester about 1910, sold her last drawing in 1918 at the age of 86, and died in 1924.
The programme of accompanying events includes: February 20 - ‘Victorian Games and Story Telling’ family day; February 22 - ‘Victorian Peg Dolls’ children’s activity; February 27 - ‘Picturesque Chester: The City in Art’, lecture by Peter Boughton; March 13 - ‘Victorian Social Realist Art’ lecture by Maggie Jackson; March 19 - Louise Rayner exhibition tour; March 27 and 30 - ‘Exploring Louise Rayner’s Chester’ guided walk with the Guild of Chester Tour Guides; April 3 - ‘Discover the Victorians’ family day.
The exhibition runs until April 7.