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The Harold Samuel Collection: A Guide to the Dutch and Flemish Pictures at the Mansion House (Paperback)

Hobbies & Lifestyle > Art

Imprint: Paul Holberton Publishing
Pages: 200
ISBN: 9781907372414
Published: 19th January 2013


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The Harold Samuel Collection Art Collection of Dutch and Flemish seventeenth-century pictures is one of the finest groups of Old Master paintings assembled in Britain over the past hundred years, but one of the least known. Sir Harold Samuel, 1st and last Lord Samuel of Wych Cross (1912–1987) bequeathed the collection to the City of London to hang at Mansion House.   Now in the care of the Guildhall Museum and Art Gallery, the collection of 84 paintings can be viewed at Mansion House on organized tours or by appointment. Built between 1732 and 1754, the House is the home, office and center of entertaining for the Lord Mayor of the City of London and the Corporation. This guide will enable visitors to take a tour through Mansion House and discover the artists and their subjects – landscapes, still lifes and genre scenes – the development of styles, forms, materials and techniques, and the history of the collection. Highlights include works by Frans Hals, Aelbert Cuyp, Jan van Goyen, Jacob van Ruisdael and Pieter de Hooch.  Lively and insightful entries accompany beautiful reproductions of every painting and are introduced by an essay about the creation of the collection and the history of artistic taste in relation to Dutch art.  Michael Hall gained his PhD, on collecting Old Master paintings in the nineteenth century, from the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2005. For the past twenty-five years he has been curator of the Rothschild family collections at Exbury in Hampshire. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angekes and was J. Clawson Mills Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. He has catalogued the collection of gold boxes at the Huntington Art Gallery in San Marino, California, and writes on French decorative arts and on collecting Old Master paintings.  Clare Gifford is a doctor of science and medicine. She has over recent years become greatly interested in the history and culture of 'the City that made the world'. Her husband Roger was elected Lord Mayor of London for 2012–13.


The Harold Samuel Collection is a unique collection of 17th-century paintings from Holland's Golden Age. Bequeathed to the City of London in 1987 by Sir Harold Samuel of Wych Cross (1912–1987), a wealthy property developer and philanthropist, this remarkable collection of 84 works – the finest collection of Dutch and Flemish art assembled privately in the UK in the last hundred years – enriches the splendour of the interior of the Mansion House, residence of the Lord Mayor of London. This book marks the 25th anniversary of the bequest. Proceeds from the sale of the book will go towards the Lord Mayor's Appeal which primarily supports the City Music Foundation, and the Harold Samuel Collection Fund, recently set up for the conservation and maintenance of the paintings.


This publication, introduced by an essay of the Collection and the history of artistic taste in relation to Dutch art, has lively and insightful entries accompanying beautiful reproductions of each painting. The Merry Lute Player by Frans Hals (1582/3–1666) is perhaps the best known picture in the Collection, the first painting to be bought via a transatlantic telephone bid, but Samuel also gathered outstanding examples of genre painting, indeed several of the finest workds in existence by Nicolaes Maes, Jacob Ochtervelt, Adriaen van Ostade and Jan Steen.

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