Albert Square, Manchester
Europe, United Kingdom, England, Manchester
152 x 114 cm
Albert Square, Manchester 1910
Adolphe Valette 1876-1942
Oil on jute
Albert Square resulted from many preparatory studies
and was Valette's most ambitious Manchester painting.
The view is from the south-west side of the square
showing, from left to right: the Albert Memorial,
the statues of Oliver Heywood and William Gladstone
and part of the soot-blackened Town Hall.
Tram lines dissect hazy outlines of Victorian spires
and horse-drawn cabs mingle side-by-side
with a new form of transport - the motor car.
The figure of the cellarman pushing his barrow
is silhouetted against a pale, pearly background
in a bold and caricature-like way
which prefigures the work of L.S. Lowry.
The frame, which has a simplified leaf moulding,
still bears the label of Robert Carruthers;
a local frame maker who Valette often employed.