Houghton Hall and the Hermitage

Sir Robert Walpole

Sir Robert Walpole

The key art event in Britain this year will be at Houghton Hall in Norfolk. British Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole had one of the greatest art collections ever assembled in Europe. In 1779 most of the paintings were sold to Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia.

The collection, which includes masterpieces by Van Dyck, Poussin, Rubens and Rembrandt, are today held at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg but for five months this year they will once more grace the walls of the great Palladian house, built by our first Prime Minister to house them.

Houghton Hall built by our first Prime Minister

Houghton Hall built by our first Prime Minister

The paintings will return to the State Rooms at Houghton, into the magnificent interiors designed by William Kent, along with original silver and furniture. The loan celebrates the 250th anniversary of Catherine the Great’s accession to the throne of Russia and a long history of Anglo-Russian cultural co-operation.

It is a unique opportunity to step directly back to a moment in history when Houghton was at its peak. Don’t miss it from May to September 2013.

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