The Walker Art Gallery survived the May Blitz, but a group of oil paintings were blistered and burnt beyond recognition in the fire. In 1961, it was decided that the badly damaged paintings should be removed from the gallery’s collection and destroyed. The fire that took hold of the museum and library in 1941 was still claiming its victims 20 years later.
This painting of Richmond Castle was one of the artworks destroyed in 1961. Painted by Liverpool born artist Daniel Alexander Williamson (1823-1903) it was part of an impressive collection owned by James Smith (1831-1923). Smith arrived in Liverpool in 1851 and became a successful wine merchant. His widow gave the collection to the Walker Art Gallery in 1923 and 1927. It included sculptures by Augustus Rodin, and a collection of more than 100 works of art, including the painting of Richmond Castle. The collection was described at the time as “one of the most notable bequests of works of art ever made to the city.”