Above: Louise Rayner took the practical view that she was
selling a commodity, and when it was gone, it was gone. She did,
however, have at least twenty of her paintings photographed -
Edinburgh being one, and this view of a street market in Lower
Bridge Street Chester being another. The photographs were taken
(we believe) in the early 1870s through to the 1890s, and the sea
of humanity reminds us of why her work was so popular at the time
- and why it is so valuable for historians today.
Although Louise painted towns across Britain and in some parts of
the Continent, she is associated with Chester more than any other town
- for the simple reasons that it was rich with appealing subjects and
she lived there for many years teaching art to others (along with her sister
Margaret in latter years). Grosvenor Museum in Chester has a collection
in excess of 30 different views painted by Louise and has generously
given us access to many of them for reproduction here. Those at the
Museum (which runs exhibitions of them at intervals) are mostly available
as prints, and the pictures used here are marked Chester Collection in
case you want to obtain prints. However, the following pages also
include paintings held elsewhere, and prints for them will only be
available if the owners make them so.
The map alongside, supplied but not created
by Andy King, is a very simple, quick guide to central Chester
and the arrangement of our pages, as listed below. Most of
the paintings record the 4 directions from the central cross,
which can be reached from each other by the links on each page.
Several streets have no known paintings - suggesting that
they were not artistically interesting in Louise's time. We have our
own new map on the way, and apologise for our previously wrong credit for this one.
Chester North to South:
Lower Bridge Street and the Prison
Chester East to West:
Foregate to The Cross
Several of the Chester images on these pages appear through the
co-operation and courtesy of the Grosvenor Museum,
Chester, for which we thank them.
DudleyMall pages about Louise:
Harry Drummond, January 2015.
Please note: we claim no art expertise, and in no way do we offer provenance for any paintings. What you see here was
compiled out of interest in Louise Rayner's paintings and those by her family, but is based on sometimes very fragmentary
evidence. It is inevitable that there will be errors, though we do correct these when we learn of them.
We would gratefully receive any information or corrections that will help us to fill the gaps and resolve unproved links - for
example confirmation of dates of birth, death, etc., and details of other addresses the family lived at (and roughly when). Images
of any of the family's paintings are also very welcome. And we'd like to thank the many people around the world who have already
contributed - you've helped to make these pages as good as they are. Thank you!
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