Sir Robert Walpole Masterpieces return to Houghton Hall after over two hundred years.
This is certainly an exhibition I enjoyed visiting and I strongly recommend you book up to see it before it closes on the 29th of September.
Catherine the Great was very interested in introducing European portraiture to Russia and as a large part of Walpole's collection was made up of portraits this suited her plans perfectly. Catherine purchased the whole of Sir Roberts Walpole's Collection in 1779 for over £400,000 ( a fortune in todays money) while the English collectors were perhaps a little hesitant. She concluded her purchase and promptly shipped all the pictures back to her newly created Hermitage Museum. She had her own portrait painted many time by Russian artists of the day and it is believed that she persuaded a number of budding young portrait artists to leave Moscow for her academy of Art that she had set up in St Petersburg.
Catharine was a avid collector and was also quite keen to purchase fine art objects from Europe including some wonderful Clocks which are now in the Kremlin .
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