Our visit to the famed Houghton Revisited exhibition finally arrived on Monday and we couldn’t have picked a better day. The weather was perfect; blue skies, wispy clouds and cool breeze.
The magnificent art collection of Great Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, sold to Catherine the Great to adorn the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, has been reassembled in its spectacular original setting of Houghton Hall for the first time in over 200 years.
Houghton Revisited has now been extended to run until 24 November and is a unique opportunity to view one of the most famous art collections of eighteenth-century Europe. The display includes paintings from the English, French, Italian, Flemish and Spanish schools, with masterpieces by Van Dyck, Poussin, Albani, Rubens, Rembrandt, Velazquez and Murillo.
Houghton Hall, now the family seat of Sir Robert Walpole’s direct descendant, the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, is considered one of the country’s finest Palladian houses.
The Hall was designed to house Walpole’s prized collection of Old Master paintings, and the magnificent interiors and furnishings designed by William Kent are also still intact. The paintings in the Houghton Revisited exhibition are hung as close as possible to their original positions in the State Rooms, bringing them back to the splendour of more than two centuries ago.
As well as hosting the Houghton Revisited exhibition in 2013, Houghton’s unique history and interior, the award-winning five acre garden, the contemporary sculpture park, playground and restaurant, offer something of interest to everyone, and make for a great day out for all the family.