The stately Knowsley Hall at Prescot, Merseyside, is the seat of the Earls of Derby. Their collection of pictures contains many works by Edward Lear, of whom the 13th Earl was an enthusiastic champion; Lear was commissioned to paint animals from the Knowsley menagerie and the resulting ornithological studies of the inhabitants of the aviary are exquisite. As well as flora and fauna the Knowsley collection contains family portraits and a copy of Titian’s, ‘Diana and Callisto’ by Peter Paul Rubens.

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