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Visions of Liverpool – old and new

4 September 2007 by Lisa

First exhibited at the Walker Art Gallery in 1907, Walter Richards’ extraordinary aerial painting of his vision of ‘Modern Liverpool’ is now on display at the Maritime Museum. Looking at the painting makes you wonder first of all, how in 1907, he was able to achieve such height and perspective in order to create the work at all – your mind starts to speculate – perhaps he was in a hot air balloon! The painting aims to portray Liverpool as a bustling and confident imperial city and capture the spirit of the time. The attention to detail is particularly impressive, though as Richards apparently worked as a lithographer, this is perhaps not surprising. These small details show Edwardian Liverpool as a city of grandeur, with its Rolls Royce and ladies in exuberant hats in the foreground. It will be interesting to compare this painting from a century ago with the new panorama of Liverpool being created by Ben Johnson that will be completed in 2008.

Image of the panorama painting of Liverpool in 1907

An Edwardian view of Liverpool

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