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Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill House

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Credit: SHH Tribune MattChungPhoto

A generous loan of over fifty Old Masters has enabled experts to recreate the look and feel of Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill House as it was in his lifetime.

Over 50 Old Master paintings on long term loan from Dulwich Picture Gallery - and a further eight works from a private English collection – have just gone on display at Strawberry Hill House, helping to recreate the atmosphere of how the house would have appeared over 250 years ago

As part of an ambitious project, the remarkable former home of the writer, antiquarian and politician, Horace Walpole (1717–1797) is endeavouring to return some of the 6000 objects from the collection he amassed during his lifetime and, where possible, recreate the original atmosphere of the house, when the rooms were filled with fantastic works of art.

In 1842, following Walpole’s death, the contents of the House were dispersed in a famous auction, known as the Great Sale. Since then, it has been a long-held desire of the Strawberry Hill Trust to bring as many pieces as possible once in his collection back to the historic villa in Twickenham. Indeed, its efforts have recently seen the acquisitions of an extraordinary portrait of Catherine de Medici and a celebrated Chinese ceramic fish tub with a macabre past return to the House

Among the paintings from the latest loan which can be viewed  is a set of twenty-six British monarchs, assembled by the founder of Dulwich College, Edward Alleyn. These include Henry VIII, c.1618, Queen Anne Boleyn, c.1618 and Queen Mary, c.1618. Walpole had a deep interest in royal and historical figures, which was reflected throughout his collection, plus the interiors and architecture of the House. .

Further Information: House & Garden - Strawberry Hill House & Garden