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Collection Summary

Collection Title
Fine Art Collection
The collection is at its strongest in its collection of 17th century English portraiture, with examples of the work of Riley, Closterman, Tilson, Wissing, Vanderbank, Lely and Kneller. There are fine portraits from the 18th and 19th century by Reynolds, Hoppner, Romney, Cotes, Mercier, Watts, Leighton and Salisbury.
The collection of Old Masters, the finest in any English Country House built up over the generations of Brownlows and Custs has been dispersed, however a fair number survive.
Paintings representing patronage through the generations exist, including the conversation piece of Lord Tyrconnel and his family at Belton commissioned from Phillipe Mercier. Patronage in the late 18th and early 19th century is represented by portraits by Hoppner, Romney and Reynolds, whilst Watts, Leighton and Clifford were all commissioned in the middle and later 19th century.
During the 19th century four large canvasses by Melchior d’Hondecoeter were added to the collection.
Sculpture exists in the house and gardens. A lead bust of the Duke of Cumberland by H.Cheere, is probably the most significant. There are a few restored antique busts and various 19th century marble portrait busts. In the gardens the figures of Time and a Cherub by Caius Gabriel Cibber support a modern bronze sundial. Four 18th century life size Italian marble figures may be those represented in the 1754 inventory.
Local significance and national interest
Date range of collection
1600 - 1890
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
Associated Places

Location Details

National Trust, Belton House
Belton nr Grantham NG32 2LS United Kingdom
Open Map
01476 66116
01476 579071 
Building Information
Belton House was the home of the Brownlow and Cust families from its completion in 1688 to its acquisition by the National Trust in 1984.
Collections Overview
The collections contain a breadth of pictures, furniture, furnishings and ornaments which are typical of the best of English country houses. It has strengths in its collection of paintings, in particular the portraits of the 17th century, and 18th and 19th century and the remains of what was once the finest Old Master paintings collection in any English Country House.
Display Overview
Throughout the history of the house and particularly in 20th century parts of the collections were sold. The policy of the National Trust since it took over in 1984 has been to equip the public rooms reflecting layers of family occupation through the generations. The collections contain items of known Belton provenance from the 17th, 18th and 19th century.
For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

Additional Collection Information

Related Publications
Management Information (Type)
  • Museum.
Collection Owner(s)
Collection Creator(s)
Collection Collector(s)
Collection Custodians(s)
Associated Collection(s)

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