Houghton Hall Revisited: Masterpieces from the Hermitage

Lecture by Thierry Morrel.

Thierry Morel, the curator of the new blockbuster exhibition Houghton Revisited: The Walpole Masterpieces from Catherine the Great’s Hermitage will talk about this unique, once-in-a-lifetime temporary re-hanging of the core European masterpieces from Catherine the Great's Hermitage art collection at their original home in Norfolk.

It is one of the most outstanding exhibitions ever put together. Over 60 paintings from the great collection amassed in the mid-18th century by Sir Robert Walpole, and later bought by Catherine the Great of Russia, will return from St Petersburg to Houghton Hall. More than that, thanks to curator's research, full of intriguing new discoveries, most of the paintings will hang in the same positions that they occupied in the 1740s. The present owner, Walpole’s descendant, the seventh Marquess of Cholmondeley, was working with Thierry Morel to recreate the precise settings of Walpole’s day.

Sir Robert Walpole, Britain's first Prime Minister, was a passionate collector of art. His collection was the greatest in 18 th century Britain. The Houghton Hall house, a grand Palladian 'palace', one of the most significant in this country, was built specially to accommodate the collection. After Sir Robert Walpole's death the collection was acquired by Catherine the Great and brought to St. Petersburg for the Catherine's brand new museum, the Hermitage. Still this collection is at the very core of grandiose art display at Hermitage in St-Petersburg.

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