Eight paintings not to miss at Petworth

The Brussels Picture Gallery by David Teniers the younger

John Constable described Petworth as 'that house of art' in 1834. We've highlighted 8 important paintings within the collection that you should look out for on your visit.

Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) Rocky Wooded Landscape, c.1775

Hung in the North Gallery, Gainsborough's preference was for painting landscapes
Thomas Gainsborough's Rocky Wooded Landscape, c.1775

North Gallery

Best known as a portraitist, Gainsborough’s preference was for landscape painting. Constable said he could not think of this example ‘without tears in my eyes’.

William Blake (1757-1827) The Last Judgement, 1808

Blake's The Last Judgement was inspired by Michelangelo's Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel
William Blake's The Last Judgement, 1808

North Gallery

A radical and eccentric artist, Blake had few patrons in his lifetime and is not represented in any other major country house collection. One of three examples at Petworth, this depicts the ascent of the blessed (left) with the descent of the damned (right).

Titian (c.1490-1576) Man in a Black Plumed Hat, c.1515-20

Titian pioneered the casual pose of the sitting looking over their shoulder.
Titian's Man in a Black Plumed Hat, c.1515-20

Somerset Room

As a young artist Titian became famous as a portrait painter. He pioneered the casual pose, with the sitter looking over his shoulder, which was later taken up by other great artists such as Rembrandt and van Dyck. The sitter is unidentified but seems to hold a block of stone, which may suggest he is a sculptor.

Hans Holbien the Younger (1497/8-1543) Henry VIII, 1537-57

Detail of King Henry VIII (1491-1547), studio of Hans Holbein the younger, c.1543-1547 / NT 486186
Detail of Henry VIII by studio of Hans Holbein the younger

Carved Room

Based on Holbein’s Whitehall mural, destroyed by re in 1698, this is one of only two copies of this famous image to come from the artist’s studio. It was almost certainly commissioned by Jane Seymour’s brother, Edward, and came to Petworth by descent to the 6th Duke of Somerset.

Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) Katherine Bruce, Mrs William Murray, circa 1637

Wife of William Murray who owned Ham House, this is just one of the portraits at Petworth by van Dyck
Anthony van Dyck's Katherine Bruce, 1837

Little Dining Room

One of 17 paintings by van Dyck at Petworth, this portrait represents the wife of the 1st Earl of Dysart, who owned Ham House (National Trust). It was acquired for Northumberland House by the 10th Earl of Northumberland, one of van Dyck’s great collectors, probably during the Civil War.

Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691) Rider and herdsman in an imaginary landscape, 1655

Fashionable paintings in the 1800s that influenced artists like JMW Turner
Aelbery Cuyp's Rider and herdsman in an imaginary landscape, c.1655

The Beauty Room

Paintings by Cuyp were particularly fashionable in the early 1800s and influenced artists such as JMW Turner. This example was bought for Petworth by the 3rd Earl of Egremont. The landscape around the picturesque Dutch town of Nijmegen inspired several of Cuyp’s paintings but they are rarely speci c views.

Joshua Reynolds (1729-1792) Macbeth and the Witches, 1789

Macbeth and the Witches (from William Shakespeare's 'Macbeth') (unfinished) by Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA (Plympton 1723 - London 1792)
Macbeth and the Witches (from William Shakespeare's 'Macbeth') (unfinished) by Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA (Plympton 1723 - London 1792)

The Square Dining Room

The largest of Reynolds’s paintings, this giant canvas was left unfinished in the artist’s studio on his death. It had been commissioned by John Boydell for his Shakespeare Gallery on Pall Mall. The painting underwent a major conservation project in 2014/15, revealing the gruesome detail of this famous scene.

Henry Fuesli's Macbeth, Banquo and the Witches, 1793-4

Shakespeare at Petworth

Celebrate one of the world’s greatest playwrights at Petworth. The extraordinary art collection, the finest in the National Trust’s care, contains several examples of artists interpreting Shakespeare’s works.

David Teniers (1610-1690) The Brussels Picture Gallery of the Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, 1651

David Teniers the younger, The Brussels Picture Gallery of the Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, 1651 / NT 486159
The Brussels Picture Gallery by David Teniers the younger

Somerset Room

This painting represents one of the great European picture collections, of which the artist was also the curator and appears holding a painting for his employer. The paintings represented are now dispersed across great museum collections; Titian’s Death of Actaeon (top right) is in the National Gallery, London.