– Portrait of Jacopo Sannazaro
The Royal Collection is the art collection of the British Royal Family and the largest private art collection in the world.
Spread among 13 occupied and historic royal residences in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the collection is owned by Queen Elizabeth II and overseen by the Royal Collection Trust, a branch of the Royal Household. The Queen owns some objects in the collection in right of the Crown and some as a private individual. It is made up of over one million objects, including 7,000 paintings, 30,000 watercolours and drawings, and about 500,000 prints, as well as photographs, tapestries, furniture, ceramics, books, sculptures, and the Crown Jewels.
Some of the buildings which house the collection, like Hampton Court Palace, are open to the public and not lived in by the Royal Family, whilst others, like Windsor Castle, are both residences and open to the public. The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace in London was built specially to exhibit pieces from the collection on a rotating basis. There is a similar art gallery next to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, and a Drawings Gallery at Windsor Castle. The Crown Jewels are on public display in the Jewel House at the Tower of London.
About 3,000 objects are on loan to museums throughout the world, and many others are loaned on a temporary basis to exhibitions.
: Pythagoras Advocating Vegetarianism
, c. 1618–30 in the Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace
Few items from before King Henry VIII survive. The most important additions to the collection were made by Charles I, a passionate collector of Italian paintings, and a major patron of Van Dyck and other artists. His collection was sold after his execution in 1649, but large numbers of works were recovered for the collection after the Restoration of 1660, when the Dutch Republic also presented Charles II with the Dutch Gift, and Charles later bought many paintings and other works.
George III, with the assistance of Frederick Augusta Barnard, added very large numbers, including tens of thousands of books and manuscripts, and Queen Victoria and her husband Albert were keen collectors of contemporary and old master paintings. Many works have been given from the collection to museums, especially by George III and Victoria and Albert. In particular, most of the then royal library was given by George III to the British Museum, now the British Library, where many books are still catalogued as "Royal". The core of this collection was the purchase by James I of the related collections of Humphrey Llwyd, Lord Lumley, and the Earl of Arundel.
Throughout the reign of Elizabeth II (1952–present), there have been significant additions to the collection through judicious purchases, bequests and through gifts from nation states and other official bodies. The Commonwealth is strongly represented in this manner: an example is the 75 contemporary Canadian watercolours that entered the collection between 1985 and 2001, a gift from the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour.
A full inventory of the Royal Collection has never been made available to the public, though there are published catalogues of parts of the collection, especially paintings, and a database on the Royal Collection website is increasingly comprehensive.
Paintings, prints and drawings
The collection's holdings of Western fine art are amongst the largest and most important assemblages in existence, with works of the highest quality, and in many cases artists whose works can not be fully understood without a study of the holdings contained within the Royal Collection. Numbering over 7,000 works, spread across the Royal Residences, the collection is also arguably amongst the world's oldest in terms of provenance. The collection does not claim to provide a comprehensive, chronological survey of Western fine art but it has been shaped by the individual tastes of kings, queens and their families over the last 500 years.
- Niccolò dell'Abbate – at least 1 painting
- Alessandro Allori – at least 1 painting
- Fra Angelico – at least 1 painting
- Jacopo Bassano – at least 6 paintings
- Leandro Bassano – at least 3 paintings
- Giovanni Bellini – at least 1 painting
- Gian Lorenzo Bernini – at least 50 drawings
- Francesco Borromini – at least 100 drawings
- Bronzino (Agnolo di Cosimo) – at least 1 painting
- Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal) – at least 50 paintings and 140 drawings
- Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio) – at least 2 paintings
- Polidoro da Caravaggio – at least 9 paintings
- Giovanni Cariani – at least 2 paintings
- Luca Carlevaris – at least 4 paintings
- Agostino, Annibale and Ludovico Carracci – at least 5 paintings, more than 350 drawings
- Cima da Conegliano – at least 1 painting
- Jacopo di Cione – at least 1 painting
- Antonio da Correggio – at least 2 paintings
- Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione – at least 260 drawings
- Bernardo Daddi – at least 1 painting
- Carlo Dolci – at least 1 painting
- Domenichino (Domenico Zampieri) – at least 1 painting, as well as 1,700 drawings in 34 albums, the Royal Collection's largest holdings by a single artist
- Dosso Dossi – at least 2 paintings
- Duccio – at least 1 painting
- Gentile da Fabriano – at least 1 painting
- Girolamo Forabosco – at least 1 painting
- Domenico Fetti – at least 14 paintings
- Lattanzio Gambara – at least 8 paintings
- Benvenuto Tisi (Il Garofalo) – at least 1 painting
- Raffaellino del Garbo – at least 1 painting
- Artemisia Gentileschi – at least 1 painting
- Orazio Gentileschi – at least 2 paintings
- Luca Giordano – at least 12 paintings
- Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri) – at least 1 painting, and largest group of Guercino drawings in the world, some 400 sheets, as well as 200 by his assistants and 200 other works
- Leonardo da Vinci – at least 600 drawings, finest collection of Leonardo drawings in the world
- Bernardino Licinio – at least 4 paintings
- Pietro Longhi – at least 2 paintings
- Lorenzo Lotto – at least 3 paintings – at least Portrait of Andrea Odoni
- Andrea Mantegna – at least 9 canvases known as The Triumphs of Caesar
- Ludovico Mazzolino – at least 1 painting
- Michelangelo – at least 20 drawings
- Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola) – at least 2 paintings and 30 drawings
- Pietro Perugino – at least 1 painting
- Francesco Pesellino – at least 1 painting
- Pontormo (Jacopo da Pontormo) – at least 1 painting
- Raphael – at least 8 paintings, as well as an extensive collection of drawings. There are seven full-size cartoons for the tapestries designed to hang in the Sistine Chapel. During the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Raphael attained the zenith of his reputation. Consequently, the Raphael Cartoons have become some of the most famous, and widely imitated, paintings in the world. Since 1865 they have been on loan from the Royal Collection to the V&A.
- Guido Reni – at least 1 painting
- Sebastiano Ricci – at least 14 paintings
- Girolamo Romanino – at least 1 painting
- Giulio Romano – at least 6 paintings
- Andrea Sacchi – at least 130 drawings
- Francesco de' Rossi (Il Salviati) – at least 1 painting
- Andrea del Sarto – at least 2 paintings
- Girolamo Savoldo – at least 2 paintings
- Andrea Schiavone – at least 2 paintings
- Bernardo Strozzi – at least 1 painting
- Zanobi Strozzi – at least 1 painting
- Tintoretto – at least 5 paintings
- Titian (Tiziano Vecelli) – at least 4 paintings
- Alessandro Turchi – at least 4 paintings
- Perin del Vaga – at least 2 paintings
- Giorgio Vasari – at least 1 painting
- Palma Vecchio – at least 2 paintings
- Paolo Veronese – at least 3 paintings
- Antonio Verrio – at least 1 painting
- Francesco Zuccarelli – at least 27 paintings, together with 8 works collaborated with Antonio Visentini
- Federico Zuccari – at least 1 painting
Numbering over 300 items, the Royal Collection holds one of the greatest and most important collections of French furniture ever assembled. The collection is noted for its encyclopedic range as well as counting the greatest cabinet-makers of the Ancien Régime.
- Joseph Baumhauer – Bas d'armoire, c. 1765–70
- Pierre-Antoine Bellangé – at least 13 items, including:
Deux paire de Pedestals, inset with porcelain plaques, c. 1820
Paire de pier table, c. 1823–4 (The Blue Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace)
Paire de petit pier table, c. 1823–4 (The Blue Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace)
Side table, c. 1820
Paire de secretaire, c. 1827-8
Paire de cabinets, (see pietra dura section), c. 1820
- André-Charles Boulle – at least 13 items, including:
Armoire, c. 1700 (The Grand Corridor, Windsor Castle)
Armoire, c. 1700 (The Grand Corridor, Windsor Castle)
Cabinet (en première-partie), c. 1700 (The Grand Corridor, Windsor Castle)
Cabinet (en contre-partie), c. 1700 (The Grand Corridor, Windsor Castle)
Cabinet, (without stand, similar to ones in the State Hermitage Museum and the collections of the Duke of Buccleuch)
Paire de bas d'armoire, (The Grand Corridor, Windsor Castle)
Writing table, possibly delivered to Louis, the Grand Dauphin (1661–1711), c. 1680
Paire de torchère, c. 1700
Bureau Plat, c. 1710 (The Rubens Room, Windsor Castle)
Petit gaines, attributed to., early 18th century
- Martin Carlin – at least 2 items:
Cabinet (commode à vantaux), (see pietra dura section), c. 1778
Cabinet, mounted with Sèvres plaques, c. 1783
- Jacob-Desmalter & Cie – at least 1 item:
Bureau à cylindre, c. 1825
- Jacob Frères – at least 1 item:
Writing-table, c. 1805
- Gérard-Jean Galle – at least 1 item:
Candelabra x2, early 19th century
- Pierre Garnier – at least 2 items:
Paire de cabinets, c. 1770
- Georges Jacob – at least 30 items, including:
Petit sofa, c. 1790
Tête-à-tête, c. 1790
Fauteuil, c. 1790
Lit à la Polonaise, c. 1790
Small armchairs and settees, suite of 20, c. 1786
Armchairs x4, c. 1786
- Gilles Joubert – at least 2 items:
Pair of Pedestals, delivered for the bedroom of Louis XV at Versailles, c. 1762
- Pierre Langlois – at least 5 items, including:
Commode, c. 1765
Deux paire de commode, c. 1763
- Étienne Levasseur – at least 7 items:
Side-table, attributed to, c. 1770
Deux paire de gaines, attributed to, c. 1770
Deux secretaire, adapted from an Andre-Charles Boulle table en bureau, c. 1770
- Martin-Eloy Lignereux – at least 2 items:
Paire de cabinets, (see pietra dura section), c. 1803
- Bernard Molitor – at least 3 items:
Commode, c. 1780
Paire de secretaires, c. 1815
- Bernard II van Risamburgh – at least 2 items:
Centre-table, c. 1775
Commode, c. 1745
- Jean Henri Riesener – at least 6 items:
Commode, delivered to Louis XVI's "Chambre du Roi" at Versailles, c. 1774;
Paire de encoignure, delivered to Louis XVI's "Chambre du Roi" at Versailles, c. 1774;
Jewel-cabinet, delivered to the Comtesse de Provence, c. 1787
Writing-table, c. 1785
Bureau à cylindre, c. 1775
- Sèvres – at least 1 item:
Centre-table, 'The Table of the Grand Commanders', c. 1806–12 (The Blue Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace)
- Pierre-Philippe Thomire – at least 15 items, including:
Pedestal, c. 1813
Pedestal for the equestrian statue of Louis XIV, c. 1826
Paire de candelabra, 8 light, c. 1828
Torchères x11, c. 1814
Clock, mounts attributed to., 1803
Candelabra x2, early 19th century
- Benjamin Vulliamy & Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy – at least 4 items:
Torchere x4, 1814
- Benjamin Vulliamy – at least 3 items:
Candelabra x2, 1811
Mantel clock, c. 1780
- Adam Weisweiler – at least 13 items:
Cabinet, inset with a Sevres plaque, late 18th century
Cabinet, (see pietra dura section), 1780
Side Table, (see pietra dura section), c. 1780
Side Table, (see pietra dura section), c. 1785 (The Green Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace)
Paire de pier-table, in chinoiserie style, c. 1787–90
Commode, c. 1785
Console-table x4, c.1785
Paire de petit bas d'armoire, manner of. boulle, late 18th century
Other European furniture
- Robert Hume (English) – at least 1 item:
Pair of cabinets, (see pietra dura section), c. 1820
- Unknown (Flemish) – at least 2 items:
Cabinet-on-stand, c. 1660
Cabinet-on-stand, 17th century
- Johann Daniel Sommer (German) – at least 2 items:
Pair of cabinets-on-stand, attributed to. (stands English), late 17th century
- Melchior Baumgartner (German) – at least 2 items:
Organ Clock, 1664
Cabinet, (see Pietra Dura section), c. 1660
- Unknown (Dutch) – at least 1 item:
Secretaire-cabinet, in boulle marquetry, c. 1700
- Pietra Dura – at least 11 items:
Cabinet, Augsburg, attributed to Melchior Baumgartner, c. 1660
Cabinet, Italian, c. 1680
Cabinet, Adam Weisweiler – at least inset with pietra dura panels, 1780 (The Green Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace)
Side Table, Adam Weisweiler – at least inset with pietra dura panels, c. 1780 (The Silk Tapestry Room, Buckingham Palace)
Cabinet (commode à vantaux), Martin Carlin – at least inset with pietra dura panels re-used from Louis XIVs great Florentine cabinets, c. 1778 (The Silk Tapestry Room, Buckingham Palace)
Casket, Italian: Florentine, c. 1720
Paire de cabinets, Martin-Eloy Lignereux – at least inset with Florentine plaques, c. 1803
- Paire de cabinets, Pierre-Antoine Bellangé – at least inset with precious stones based on a Florentine design by Baccio del Bianco, c. 1820
Pair of cabinets, Robert Hume, c. 1820 (The Crimson Drawing Room, Windsor Castle)
Four Florentine pietra dura panels on 18th century cabinets, re-adapted, c. 1820s (The White Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace)
Cabinet-on-stand, magnificent example composed of ebony, mid-17th century
Bureau, magnificent example similar to a version in both the V&A and the Getty Museum, 1690–95
Bureaux Mazarin x2, in Boulle style, late 17th century
Bureaux Mazarin x2, in Boulle style, c. 1700 (The Ballroom, Windsor Castle)
Bureaux Mazarin, late 17th century (The West Gallery, Buckingham Palace)
Deux paire de boulle bas d'cabinets
Ornaments and décor
- André-Charles Boulle – at least 4 items:
Mantle clock, c. 1710 (The Green Drawing Room, Windsor Castle)
Pedestal clock, (Similar to ones in Blenheim Palace, Chateau de Versailles, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Frick Collection and the Cleveland Museum of Art)
Pedestal clock, late 17th century;
Pedestal clock, c. 1720
- Abraham-Louis Breguet – at least 1 item:
Empire regulator clock, 1825
- De La Croix – at least 1 item:
Large clock, raised on a bronze plaque plinth, c. 1775 (The East Gallery, Buckingham Palace)
- Gérard-Jean Galle – at least 1 item:
Clock, figures and frieze representing the Oath of the Horaatii, early 19th century
- Jean-Pierre Latz – at least 2 items:
Pedestal Clock, (reputed from the Chateau de Versailles), c. 1735–40
Barometer and Pedestal, c. 1735
- Jean Antoine Lépine – at least 1 item:
Clock, in the form of an African Diana, the goddess of the Hunt, 1790 (The Blue Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace)
Astronomical Clock, c. 1790 (The Blue Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace)
- Martin-Eloy Lignereux – at least 1 item:
- Pierre-Philippe Thomire – at least 1 item:
Clock, in the form of Apollo's chariot, c. 1805 (The State Dining Room, Buckingham Palace)
- Benjamin Vulliamy – at least 1 item:
Clock, in the form of a bull, c. 1755–60
- Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy – at least 1 item:
Clock, fitted with three porcelain figures, c. 1788 (The State Dining Room, Buckingham Palace)
- Matthew Boulton – at least 4 items:
Two pairs of vases, c. late 18th century (The Marble Hall, Buckingham Palace)
- Fabergé – at least 3 Imperial Eggs and 1 Easter Egg
- Gérard-Jean Galle – at least 2 items:
Candelabra x2, in the form of cornucopias, c. early 19th century
- François Rémond – at least 12 items:
Candelabra x8, 4 pairs, c. 1787 (The Blue Drawing Room & The Music Room, Buckingham Palace)
Candelabra x4, delivered to the comte d'Artois for the cabinet turc at Versailles, 1783 (The State Dining Room, Buckingham Palace)
- Pierre-Philippe Thomire – at least 3 items:
Vase, c. early 19th century (The Music Room, Windsor Castle)
Candelabra x2, malachite and bronze, early 19th century (The White Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace)
Candelabra x2, malachite and bronze, c. 1828 (The State Dining Room, Buckingham Palace)
Candelabra x4, figures of patinated bronze, c. 1810 (The East Gallery, Buckingham Palace)
- Antonio Canova – at least 3 items:
Mars and Venus, c. 1815–17 (The Ministers' Staircase, Buckingham Palace)
Fountain nymph, 1819 (The Marble Hall, Buckingham Palace)
Dirce, 1824 (The Marble Hall, Buckingham Palace)
- François Girardon – at least 1 item:
Bronze equestrian statue of Louis XIV, after Girardon, c. 1700
- Louis-Claude Vassé – at least 1 item:
Equestrian statue of Louis XV, a small reduction copy after the original by Edmé Bouchardon, c. 1764
- Ancient World – at least 1 item:
Ancient Roman – Crouching Earth
Tapestries and carpets
- Gobelins – at least 36 items:
Tapestry, four (from a series of twenty-eight designs) from the 'History of Don Quixote' given by Louis XVI to Richard Cosway, by whom presented to George IV, c. 1788
Tapestry, eight from the series 'Les Portières des Dieux', c. 18th century
Tapestry, four from the series 'Les Amours des Dieux', c. late 18th century
Tapestry, eight from the series 'Jason and the Golden Fleece', 1776-9
Tapestry, seven from the series 'History of Esther', 1783
Tapestry, three from the series 'Story of Daphnis and Chloë', 1754
Tapestry, two from the series 'Story of Meleager and Atalanta', 1844
The Royal Collection is privately owned, although some of the works are displayed in areas of palaces and other royal residences open to visitors for the public to enjoy. Some of the collection is owned by the monarch personally, and everything else is described as being held in trust by the monarch in right of the Crown. All works of art acquired by monarchs up to the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 are heirlooms which fall into the latter category. Items the British royal family acquired later, including official gifts, can be added to that part of the collection by a monarch at his or her discretion. Ambiguity surrounds the status of objects that have come into Queen Elizabeth II's possession during her reign. The Royal Collection Trust has confirmed that all pieces left to the Queen by the Queen Mother belong to her personally.
Non-personal items are said to be inalienable as they can only be willed to the monarch's successor. The legal accuracy of this claim has never been substantiated in court. According to Cameron Cobbold, then Lord Chamberlain, speaking in 1971, minor items have occasionally been sold to help raise money for acquisitions, and duplicates of items are given away as presents within the Commonwealth. In a 2000 television interview, the Duke of Edinburgh said that the Queen was "technically, perfectly at liberty to sell them". In 1995, Iain Sproat, then Secretary of State for National Heritage, told the House of Commons that selling objects was "entirely a matter for the Queen".
A registered charity, the Royal Collection Trust was set up in 1993 after the Windsor Castle fire with a mandate to conserve the works and enhance the public's appreciation and understanding of art. It employs around 500 staff and is one of the five departments of the Royal Household. Buildings do not come under its remit. In 2012, the team of curatorial staff numbered 29, and there were 32 conservationists. Income is raised by charging entrance fees to see the collection at various locations and selling books and merchandise to the public. The Trust is financially independent and receives no Government funding or public subsidy.
The conservation studio at Marlborough House is responsible for the in-house conservation of furniture and decorative objects located at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Frogmore House, Palace of Holyroodhouse, St James's Palace, Sandringham House, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Osborne House.
Cranach, Lucas (the Elder)
– Apollo and Diana
, c. 1526
, portrait miniature Young Man Seated under a Tree
– Portrait of a Man
, The Shipbuilder and his Wife
: Jan Rijcksen (1560/2-1637) and his wife, Griet Jans, 1633
- ↑ Stuart Jeffries (21 November 2002). "Kindness of strangers". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- ↑ Jerry Brotton (2 April 2006). "The great British art swindle". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 1 December 2016.(subscription required)
- ↑ "Royal Taxation". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 218. United Kingdom: House of Commons. 11 February 1993. col. 1121.
- ↑ "Royal Taxation". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 351. United Kingdom: House of Commons. 7 June 2000. col. 273W.
- 1 2 3 "FAQs about the Royal Collection". Royal Collection Trust.
- ↑ "Secrets of the Queen's paintings". The Telegraph. 15 February 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
- ↑ "Canalettos go on show at Palace". The Independent. 4 March 1993. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
- ↑ R. Brinley Jones, ‘Llwyd, Humphrey (1527–1568)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004
- ↑ Royal Treasures, A Golden Jubilee Celebration. Edited by Jane Roberts. Publisher: Royal Collection Enterprises, St. James' Palace, London, 2002. Page 25 (by Sir Hugh Roberts) and Page 391 (chapter 14).
ISBN 1-902163-49-4 (h-b uk) and ISBN 1-902163-52-4 (pb uk)
- ↑ The Social Affairs Unit – at least Web Review: Dutch Paintings at the Royal Collection
- ↑ Jones, Jonathan (30 August 2006). "The real Da Vinci code". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- ↑ Christopher Lloyd (1999). The Paintings in the Royal Collection: A Thematic Exploration. Royal Collection Enterprises. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-902163-59-8.
It is, therefore, a private collection, although its sheer size (some 7,000 pictures) and its display in palaces and royal residences (several of which are open to the public) give it a public dimension.
- ↑ "Force the Royal Family to declare gifts, say MPs". Evening Standard. London. 30 January 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- 1 2 Andrew Morton (1989). Theirs Is the Kingdom: The Wealth of the Windsors. Michael O'Mara Books. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-948397-23-3.
- ↑ Camilla Tominey (23 April 2015). "Queen gave misleading impression over £10 million Monet painting". Express. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
- ↑ Jeremy Paxman (2007). On Royalty. Penguin Adult. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-14-101222-3.
- ↑ "The convenient fiction of who owns priceless treasure". The Guardian. 30 May 2002. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
- ↑ "Ethiopian Manuscripts". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 263. United Kingdom: House of Commons. 19 July 1995. col. 1463W.
- ↑ Robert Hardman (2011). Our Queen. Random House. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-4070-8808-2.
- ↑ "Working for us". Royal Collection Trust. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
- ↑ "The Royal Collection: Not only for Queen, but also for country". The Telegraph. 28 May 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
- ↑ "Full accounts made up to 31 March 2015". Companies House. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
- ↑ "Annual report 2006/7" (PDF). Royal Collection Trust. Retrieved 21 March 2016.