The Buccleuch Collection reflects the collecting tastes over five centuries of the three families: the Montagus, the Douglases and the Scotts. Not surprisingly family portraiture over the generations plays a significant part, with particularly fine examples of 18th century artists including Sir Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough. Visiting Rome in the 1750’s John Brudenell, Marquis of Monthermer, was painted both by Pompeo Batoni and Anton Raphael Mengs. The tradition continues to this day with the late Jane, Duchess of Buccleuch, being painted two hundred years later in a renowned portrait by John Merton.
Religious works, European Landscape and Seascape paintings
Also in the 18th century the Montagu and Scott sides of the family collected major religious works including Leonardo’s Madonna of the Yarnwinder bought in Paris in 1757 and the Adoration of the Shepherds by El Greco. European Landscape and Seascape painting feature strongly, with works by Claude Lorraine and Joseph Vernet, and Dutch masters including Jacop Van Ruisdael, David Teniers the Younger and Willem van de Velde to name but a few. Dutch genre painting which was fashionable with many British collectors is also well represented.
Portrait Miniatures collection
Particularly renowned is the collection of Portrait Miniatures which reflected the enthusiasm of the 5th Duke of Buccleuch and his wife. Including both English and Continental artists with important works by Hans Holbein, Nicholas Hilliard and Samuel Cooper, it is today one of the largest collections in the world.
With masterpieces embracing Canaletto’s View of Whitehall and Raeburn’s portrait of Walter Scott as a young man, as well as touching portraits of valued house staff such as John Ainslie’s portrait of the family chef, Joseph Florence, the collection reflects the diverse enthusiasms of generations of artistic patrons.