Ferens Favourites

Humber Museums Partnership - Ferens Favourites

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About Ferens Favourites

On 23rd March 2020 the gallery’s doors closed to the public, as we reopen, we want to find out what our collection means to you. If there’s a painting that touches your heart or brings a smile to your face, then we’d love to hear about it.

For accessible information, download Easy Read Ferens Favourites

Take Part

Taking part is as easy as 1 2 3. Follow the simple steps and share your Ferens Favourite. We’ll be featuring your favourite paintings on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Keep an eye out for them and share your chosen painting using #FerensFavourites.

1 - Explore the collection and choose your favourite

Scroll down this page to see some of our highlights or browse the entire Ferens collection at: Art UK

If you’re new to the Ferens, we’ve created some themed collections Art UK Themes

Here are some Ferens Favourites, selected by our amazing volunteers

    Click here to see images in full size

  • John McAllister Gray; Interior with a Boiler

    a painting of a shiny metal boiler set into a chimney breast wall. The wall is painted white.
  • Frans Hals: Portrait of a Young Woman

    a portrait of a young woman wearing a black dress with large white collar and a white bonnet
  • Louis le Brocquy: Girl in Grey

    a painting of a reclining woman wearing a grey dress
  • Pompeo Massani: The Golden Wedding

    head and shoulders painting of an elderly man and woman lying in a bed.

2 - Tell us about your favourite painting and why you chose it

There are endless reasons to love a painting. Here are some questions to start thinking about yours.

Is it a painting that inspires or moves you?
Or makes you laugh out loud?
Is it a painting you’ve seen many times?
Or one you’ve just laid eyes on for the first time?
Does it help you see the world afresh?

Need some ideas? Download Ferens Favourites – choosing your artwork

Feeling inspired by your chosen painting? You can enter creative responses such as poetry, stories, songs, or even your own artwork.

Download Ferens Favourites – write a poem or Re-create your Ferens Favourite Activity

For accessible information download Easy Read Ferens Favourites

3 - Enter your favourite

Entries should be under 150 words or under 1 minute of sound or video recording.

We would prefer you to enter online using this submission form – Ferens Favourites Entry Form

Alternatively, post your entries to:

Ferens Favourites
Ferens Art Gallery
Queen Victoria Square

email – museums@hcandl.co.uk. Enter Ferens Favourites in email subject.

Large audio, image or video files should be sent using wetransfer.com

Find Your Ferens Favourite

The Ferens painting collection consists of almost 800 works created over seven centuries, and includes a wide variety of subjects, styles and techniques.

Need some help choosing a favourite? Here are a few we’ve selected


Here are some local favourites.

    Click here to see images in full size

  • George Arnald: Charles I Demanding Entrance at the Beverley Gate, Hull, 23 April 1642

    a painting showing King Charles 1st and his troops on horseback outside the closed Beverley Gate in Hull. Sir John Hotham can be seen above on the gate's ramparts denying them entry.
  • Don Micklethwaite: Ferens Art Gallery

    A painting showing the front eterior of the Ferens Art Gallery. There re people walking outside and a blue and white bus about to pass on the road in front..
  • William Frederick Settle: Marine, View of Hull

    a painting showing ships in the Humber. the city of Hull can be seen in the background. The water takes on muddy tones whilst the sky is blue with white and grey clouds.
  • John Ward: Ships on the Humber and the South Blockhouse, Hull

    a painting showing ships on the River Humber. The top half of the painting shows a cloudy sky and the middle section shows the boats in the distance and the skyline of Hull, the foreground shows the muddy bank exposed by the tide and two men in a small rowing boat.

Early Religious

The oldest works in the ferens collection often have religious, Christian themes.

    Click here to see images in full size

  • Pietro Lorenzetti: Christ between Saints Paul and Peter

    An oil on panel painting showing three figures. The left figure shows Saint Paul, holding his sword, the central figure is christ, raising his right hand in blessing, the third figure is saint Peter, holding the keys to the kingdom of heaven. The background is gilded in bright gold.
  • Nicolas Regnier: St Sebastian Tended by the Holy Irene

    Oil on canvas of an Italian baroque scene of a wounded Saint Sebastian, shot with arrows and lying naked apart from a loin cloth, with two finely dressed young women leaning over him and one (Irene) is removing an arrow from his thigh.
  • Francesco Rizzo da Santacroce: The Holy Family with Saint Simeon and Saint John the Baptist

    The Holy Family are depicted on the left with St. Simeon holding St. John The Baptist as an infant on the right.
  • Crijn Hendricksz Volmarijn: The Supper at Emmaus

    A scene of three men in a dark interior at a table illuminated by candlelight. Two are bareheaded with beards and the other with wide brimmed hat is in the foreground. Vessels and a glass are on the table. The man on the right holds a loaf of bread in his hands.

Town and Country

Our top picks for town and country.


A selection of our favourite abstract works.

Frederick Elwell

Our selection of works by local favourite, Elwell.


Explore the best of the Netherlands.

Social Life

From a busy exhibition to the dim light of the cinema, here are some of our social life favourites.


Our selection of LGBTQ+ artists in the Ferens collection.


From working horses to exotic menageries, animals have always been a popular subject for artists.

Working Life

Work takes many forms.

British Migrant Artists

Our collection is enriched by international artists who have made their home in Britain.

The Sea

With Hull’s seafaring heritage, we had to include a sea themed collection!


Our selection of artists putting themselves in the picture.


From theatre to playing cards, we all love to be entertained.

Humber Museums Partnership