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18th century collection

Painting of a horse and a man

Detail of 'Molly Longlegs', George Stubbs

During the 18th century Liverpool grew from a minor port to England's second city. This growth was matched by the city's development into one of the country's most significant provincial artistic centres.

Patrons such as the Earl of Derby and Henry Blundell collected essentially aristocratic styles, while the wealthy mercantile class created a new group of collectors and aided the development of a local school of artists.

Here you can see highlights of the Walker’s collection, including works by some of the century's most talented and famous painters, including Gainsborough (1727-1788), Stubbs (1724-1806) and Wright of Derby (1734-1797).

Please note that this is only a selection from our collection.

Collection highlights

Title: Molly Longlegs
Artist: George Stubbs
Date: 1762

Title: The Family of Sir William Young
Artist: Johann Zoffany
Date: between 1767 and 1769

Title: Fleetwood Hesketh
Artist: Joseph Wright
Date: 1769

Title: Landscape with figures
Artist: Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg
Date: 1763

Title: Snowdon from Llyn Nantlle
Artist: Richard Wilson
Date: about 1765

Title: Miss Elizabeth Ingram
Artist: Sir Joshua Reynolds
Date: 1757

Title: Isabella, Viscountess Molyneux, later Countess of Sefton
Artist: Thomas Gainsborough
Date: first exhibited in 1769

Title: David Garrick as Richard III
Artist: William Hogarth
Date: about 1745