The catalyst for this catalogue was the unrepeatable opportunity to acquire the majority of the most important early British portraits from the contents sale of Cowdray Park held by Christie's in 2010, combined with portraits that were sold by Sotheby's as part of the last remnants of the Earls of Elgin and the Marquesses of Ailesbury great collection that descended at their ancient Savernake estate in Wiltshire. These paintings, along with the others which I have gathered together for this publication, are all notable for their distinguished provenances. As portraits, whilst clearly tangible manifestations of lives and fashions long past, their significance however transcends the purely representational; for they also stand witness to the history of the great country houses which they adorned, the notable collections of whit they formed a part, and of course to the often colourful lives and times of their former owners. They therefore survive today as an eloquent and evocative testament to this island's historic past.
Tudor and Stuart Portraits
From the Collections of the English Nobility and Their Great Country Houses
Publisher: The Weiss Gallery