The Walker Art Gallery is in the centre of Liverpool.   The Gallery's collection dates from 1819 when the Liverpool Royal Institution acquired 37 paintings from the collection of William Roscoe, who had to sell his collection following the failure of his banking business, though it was saved from being broken up by his friends and associates.   It now houses one of the largest collections of paintings outside London.   It also hosts the John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize exhibition since 1957.   Sponsored by Sir John Moores, founder of Littlewoods, the competition has been held every two years ever since and is the biggest painting prize in the UK.

The Walker Art Gallery main entrance

First floor landing with the painted bronze sculpture The Head of the Stairs by Ivor Abrahams

Albert Einstein - bust by Jacob Epstein. Einstein fled Germany in 1933 and was staying on the Norfolk coast when he sat for Epstein.

Lady in Black Furs - Pilade Bertieri (oil on canvas 1910-1912). A portrait of Bertieri's wife, Genevieve Wilson (this picture is hanging on the stairs leading up to the landing).

Part of the Victorian paintings collection - a fairly typical gallery

Virgin and Child with Saints Nicholas, Sebastian, Roch and Martin - School of Lucca (late 15thC). Tempera on canvas and board, transferred

Pieta - Ecole de' Roberti. Oil and tempera on wood panel (warped) - painted 1482-86

The Entombment - Master of the Virgo inter Virgines. An unnamed Dutch painter with such a distinctive style that accreditation is not in doubt. Oil on an oak panel - about 1486-87

St. Catherine - Netherlandish School. Oil on wood - 1525-1550 One wing of a tryptych

Virgin and Child - Follower of Filippino Lippi. Tempera on wood; early 16thC

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I - Attributed to Nicholas Hilliard. Oil on wood panel about 1574. Known as the pelican portrait because of her pendant.

The Betrothal - School of Rembrandt. Oil on canvas - about 1640-1650

Isabella - John Everett Millais, painted 1848-9

Millie Smith - Ford Madox Brown, paited 1846. Oil on paper laid on panel. She was the daughter of Brown's landlord in Southend, where he stayed in 1846 after returning from Germany

The Funeral of Shelley - Louis Edouard Fournier (1889). Shelley's friends (l to r) Edward Trelawny, Leigh Hunt, Lord Byron

Peonies - Charles Edward Perugini (1887)

Dante's Dream - Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1870-81). Rossetti admired Dante's poem Vita Nuova about his passion for Beatrice Portinari. The painting features Jane Morris as Beatrice. It represents Dante's dream on the day of Beatrice's death. Love (with the arrow) leads him to her bedside. The poppies signify the sleep of death.

The Waterloo Dock, Liverpool - L.S.Lowry (1962)

Interior at Paddington - Lucian Freud (1951-52). Painted for the Festival of Britain (1951) - setting is Freud's London studio - the man is his friend Harry Diamond, a cockney photographer

A Street in Brittany - Stanhope Alexander Forbes (1881). His first major painting - whilst an art student in Paris - painted at Cancale, a fishing village near St Malo

Amity - Bernard Fleetwood-Walker (first exhibited 1933). Although seemingly an informal picture depicting, perhaps, two young lovers enjoying a picnic on a sunny day in the country, the painting exudes an air of discord. The whole canvas is filled by the circular composition that should in theory bring the couple together, but the young woman's position and body-language separates her from her companion. Despite the title of the painting, Amity, according to Peggy, the artist's second wife, the two models, Jeffrey and Nella, were in fact barely on speaking terms....it shows.

Summer (detail) - Edward Atkinson Hornel (1891). Hornel was one of the Glasgow Boys. He was fascinated by Japan and the influence is seen here.

Fishing Nets, St. Ives - Jack Coburn Witherop (1939). Born in Liverpool, won a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art. He met Ben Nicholson in Cornwall. In later life he worked as a painting conservator at the Walker.

Yvonne Kay - James Hamilton Hay (printed 1915). Dry point etching on paper.

A Glass of Water - Michael Craig-Martin (1984). Oil on aluminium and painted steel

Foreground - Two Spheres in Orbit - Barbara Hepworth (white marble 1973). Background - Oriental Garden, Kyoto - Bruce McLean. McLean was first prize-winner of the John Moores Compertition in 1985

The Dinner Party - Sam Walsh. The painting shows 24 figures sitting at a dinner table, who are all real people from different periods of Walsh's life. It features famous friends such as the artists Maurice Cockrill and Adrian Henri and the poet Roger McGough, as well as Walsh's neighbour, solicitor, ex-wife, partner and bank manager. He appears twice in the painting, sitting on opposite sides of the table. The Walsh on the right-hand side is shown wagging his finger at his opposing self, a mannerism he particularly disliked.

Loophonium - Fritz Spiegel had this made and played it from 1955 to 1977 on April fools day with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

The sculpture gallery on the ground floor