The Picture Gallery. Home to a large set of 17th-century Dutch paintings acquired from the renowned collection of the 3rd Earl of Bute, who was Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1762 under King George III.
The paintings would have originally hung in his Bedfordshire home, Luton Hoo. The collection includes Teniers’s ‘Village Inn’ and Van de Velde’s ‘Battle of Solebay’.
This rich array of paintings are elegantly set off by the vibrant green walls, and along with other works of art throughout the house, have been generously lent by the 7th Marquess of Bute. The Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation also have paintings on loan in the Picture Gallery, most notably the ‘Newhaven Fishwife’ by Alexander Ignatious Roche, as well as work by Nicolas Poussin and Henry Raeburn (another work by Raeburn can also be seen in the blue drawing room).
On either side of the hall are virtually identical grand staircases; one made of stone and the other of wood. These would have been used by the whole household, as there are no secondary stairs for servants. Both staircases are well lit by large Venetian windows, and the Gallery is naturally lit by way of skylights.
Beautifully carved 18th-century chairs by Thomas Chippendale and Alexander Peter line the corridor, with the contrast between Chippendale’s dynamic and organic shapes, and Peter’s formal solid design being quite noticeable.
This first floor main passageway leads to the principal bedchambers of the house. The Order of the thistle motif can be found above the bedroom doors on the south side of the hall, with the order of the Garter depicted above the doors on the north side
In 2012 a range of antique clocks were introduced to the House, as a result of the house ‘lacking a heartbeat’, to use the words of HRH The Prince of Wales that inspired the purchases.
The Picture Gallery includes an Alexander Cumming tavern clock, which is one of only two in the world.