Monday, October 7, 2013

Houghton in Context

I enjoyed visiting the Houghton Revisited exhibition. This is showing the dispersed Walpole collection of paintings in their original setting. Many are on loan from the Hermitage.
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, is reassembled in its spectacular original setting of Houghton Hall for the first time in over 200 years this summer.
I was very struck how these paintings could be viewed together rather than as individual works of art. There was a sense of Walpole's composition and taste.

And in the back of my mind was the dispersal of objects from unique archaeological contexts --- contexts that are lost, never to be "revisited", if looting takes place.

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