The house is a treasure trove, with over 1,000 objects and works of art on display. Here are five must see things for you to look out for…
Venus Verticordia *
This iconic Pre-Raphaelite painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti depicts “the turner of men’s hearts”, a femme fatale with her roots in both pagan and Christian traditions – luxurious, sensuous and rich with symbolism.
* Venus Verticordia is currently on loan to the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool as the lead image for their exhibition Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion. The painting will return to the Russell-Cotes in June 2016.
The Russell-Cotes is in a fabulous position, on the East Cliff, overlooking Bournemouth Pier and offering some of the best views along the Dorset coastline. Although we have to keep the blinds down in much of the house to conserve our collections, you can sit in the Conservatory or the Red Room and enjoy the view.
The Japanese Collection
Merton and Annie sent back over 100 cases of objects from Japan in 1885, including Noh masks and a magnificent 18th century shrine. This is recognised by the V&A as one of the most important Japanese collections in the world.
Albert Moore’s Pre-Raphaelite masterpiece Midsummer (1887) beautifully anticipates the Symbolists’ fascination with sleep and dreams. This world-famous painting has been on international tour with the V&A, returning to the Russell-Cotes in July 2012.
The Lily Langtry Loo
An elaborately decorated ladies’ loo was said to have been used by actress (and Royal Mistress) Lily Langtry. Lady visitors can still use it today – although we do have modern facilities too!
And if this isn’t enough, why not check out our more things to see at Russell-Cotes section.