This catalogue includes over 2,400 oil paintings in 43 National Trust properties in the South of England in the counties of Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Essex as well as in London. It includes the outstanding ducal collections at Petworth and Knole as well as Basildon Park, Polesden Lacey, Uppark, the Cobbe Collection at Hatchlands and the atmospheric Stuart mansion of Ham House on the banks of the Thames at Richmond. They are in some of the most picturesque surroundings amongst the gardens of England. They are also in places better known because of their inhabitants like Sir Thomas Carlyle’s House in Chelsea, Henry James’s Lamb House in Rye, Rudyard Kipling’s Bateman’s in the Sussex Weald and Virginia Woolf ’s retreat at Monk’s House, Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson’s Sissinghurst Castle, Dame Ellen Terry’s Smallhythe Place and Sir Winston Churchill’s Chartwell, crammed full of the stateman’s own exquisite pictures. More unusual properties that contain paintings range from the thirteenth-century chapel of the St John’s Jerusalem to the twentieth-century Sandham Memorial Chapel with Stanley Spencer’s fine First World War murals and the Arts and Crafts Standen, to Ernö Goldfinger’s Modern Movement House in Hampstead. Pictures ranging from Dutch seventeenth-century masters, Van Dyck, Lely, Turner and Max Ernst.
The Public Catalogue Foundation is a charity passionate about making art accessible to the public and educational research. Between 2003 and 2012, they digitised all 210,000 oil paintings in public ownership around the United Kingdom (80% of which are not on view), resulting in this series of affordable catalogues and an online database. They are currently working to digitise the nation’s public sculpture collection.