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Robert Huskisson, 1820–1861

Lord Northwick's Picture Gallery at Thirlestaine House

between 1846 and 1847
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
32 x 42 3/4 inches (81.3 x 108.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
chairs | chandelier | conversation piece | country house | dog (animal) | frames (furnishings) | home | house | interior | paintings | pink | women
Associated Places:
Cheltenham | England | Gloucestershire | Thirlestaine House | United Kingdom
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

John Rushout, 2nd Baron Northwick (1769-1859), was one of the greatest connoisseurs of the nineteenth century. In 1838 he purchased Thirlestaine House, a Greek revival mansion in Cheltenham, to house his exceptional collection of over five hundred pictures. Every afternoon between one and three o’clock the doors were opened so that the public could view his collection free of charge. In this view of part of his collection a recently acquired Madonna by Botticelli sits on the mobile easel while portraits attributed to Titian flank the doorway above landscapes by Claude Lorraine and Francis Danby. On the right hand wall hangs a Rubens and a doubtful Giorgione, along with a copy of Reynolds’s Infant Hercules and a Robin Hood scene by Daniel Maclise. The bronze on the console table represents Samson Slaying the Philistines cast from a model by Michelangelo. This blend of modern British and Old Master paintings and sculpture reflected Northwick’s eclectic taste but led some critics to lament that his paintings were all ‘mingled together in the most arbitrary manner.’ Huskisson knew the collection well being a regular house guest and, although he exhibited this picture at the British Institution in 1847 as the Picture Gallery, the interior actually represents the dining room at Thirlestaine House. According to the painter W. P. Frith, Huskisson spent many evenings charming Northwick and his other guests around the dining table despite being, as he put it, ‘a very common young man, entirely uneducated.’

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2014

Seeing Double : Portraits, Copies and Exhibitions in 1820s London (Yale Center for British Art, 2010-06-24 - 2010-09-19) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

A Palace of Art in Victorian England - The Grosvenor Gallery (Laing Art Gallery, 1996-09-13 - 1996-11-24) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

A Palace of Art in Victorian England - The Grosvenor Gallery (Denver Art Museum, 1996-06-01 - 1996-08-25) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

A Palace of Art in Victorian England - The Grosvenor Gallery (Yale Center for British Art, 1996-03-01 - 1996-04-28) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Country Houses in Great Britain - Yale Center for British Art (Yale Center for British Art, 1979-10-10 - 1980-01-29) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

The Pursuit of Happiness - A View of Life in Georgian England (Yale Center for British Art, 1977-04-19 - 1977-09-18) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Susan P. Casteras, The Grosvenor Gallery, a palace of art in Victorian England , Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1996, pp. 28, 194, no. 25, N1165 G76 G76 1996 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 126-127, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Country houses in Great Britain., Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1979, pp. 62-63, 121, no. 41, pl. 41, N6764 Y34 1979 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Elizabeth A. Fay, Fashioning faces, the portraitive mode in British romanticism , University of New Hampshire Press University Press of New England, Durham, N.H. Hanover, N.H., 2010, p. 59, fig. 2.5, PR457 .F34 2009 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Dianne Sachko Macleod, Art and the Victorian middle class : money and the making of cultural identity, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996, pp 112, 113, cl. pl. 3 an fig. 18, N72 S6 M23 1996 (YCBA) [YCBA]

J. H. Plumb, The pursuit of happiness : a view of life in Georgian England : an exhibition selected from the Paul Mellon collection, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1977, pp. 49, 106, no. 87, N6766 Y34 1977 (YCBA) [YCBA]

The British Institution, Exhibtion -- 1847 , Art-Union, vol. 9, March 1, 1847, p. 82, no. 506, Available Online : British Periodicals database [ORBIS]

Nicholas Tromans, The private lives of pictures : art at home in Britain, 1800-1940, Reaktion Books, London, 2022, pp. 77, 78, pl. 25, NK2115.5 P48 T76 2022 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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