Prized Possessions: Dutch Paintings from National Trust Houses


Celebrating the enduring British taste for collecting Dutch paintings from the long seventeenth century, this exhibition catalogue will explore why and how this particular type of art was desired, commissioned and displayed, through the consideration of Golden Age masterpieces from a number of National Trust houses.


This catalogue will be published to accompany the fi rst ever exhibition of Golden Age Dutch pictures in the collection of the National Trust, which will be shown at the Mauritshuis in The Hague, the Holburne Museum in Bath and at Petworth House in West Sussex (2018–19).


Celebrating the enduring British taste for collecting Dutch paintings from the long seventeenth century, the publication will explore why and how this particular type of art was desired, commissioned and displayed through the consideration of masterpieces from a number of National Trust houses. It will feature portraits, still lifes, religious pictures, maritime paintings, landscapes, genre paintings and history pictures, painted by celebrated artists such as Rembrandt, Lievens, Hobbema, Cuyp, De Heem, Ter Borch and Metsu, as well as less well-known artists such as De Baen and Van Diest. The National Trust has the largest collection of art in the British Isles, including many great masterpieces, amassed by key patrons and displayed in some of the country’s greatest houses. Dutch Golden Age pictures form an important part of this collection, and National Trust houses with particularly important collections of Dutch pictures include Ham House, Dyrham Park, Ascott, Upton House and Polesden Lacey.


The catalogue will include essays by Quentin Buvelot (chief curator at the Mauritshuis) and David Taylor (curator of pictures and s culpture at the National Trust). Other aspects of the infl uence of Dutch culture in British country houses will be discussed (using national Trust examples) – on furniture, garden design and print and ceramics collecting.

  • Edited by Rupert Goulding and David Taylor

    Edited by Rupert Goulding and David Taylor

    With essays by Quentin Buvelot and David Taylor 


    May 2018 (June USA)

    Paperback, 260 x 216 mm

    192 pages, 150 colour illus.

    ISBN 978 1 911300 24 3

  • Exhibition

    Holburne Museum, Bath
    25 May - 16 September 2018 


    Mauritshuis, The Hague 
    October 2018


    Petworth House, West Sussex 
    January 2019

  • In the press

    ★★★★ "A glittering snapshot of the National Trust's collection ... more than an at-a-glance overview of the Golden Age. It also reveals much about the British relationship with 17th-century Dutch paintings." —Telegraph 


    "Dutch pictures and English country houses: a marvellously interwoven story ... the first exhibition of highlights among the many Dutch paintings in National Trust homes." –Financial Times


    "A comprehensive picture of an era … to study these pictures properly is not just to see, but to enter a society, to understand its aspirations and emotions, its sense of humour and its moral judgments. The vignette that [Prized Possessions] offers opens up into an expansive view." –The Times


    "A jewel box of a show" —Country Life


    "A small treat" —The Oldie


    "Revelatory insights into significant paintings held by the National Trust." —Bath Magazine


    "A land­mark exhibition" —Timeless Travels 

© 2017 by Paul Holberton publishing