Art Collection of the Duke of Buccleuch

The collections of the Duke of Buccleuch & Queensberry represent some of the finest, most complete and most important private art collections remaining in Europe.


Assembled by the family over a 600 year period, with little in the way of sale or dispersal, the superlative collection of furniture, paintings, porcelain, silver, miniatures, sculpture and tapestries remains relatively unknown. 

The hundreds of paintings alone, number among them works by Holbein, Cranach, Le Seur, El Greco, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Claude, Vernet, van Dyck, Canaletto, Carracci, Guardi, Rembrandt and even da Vinci - the last painting by the artist in private hands.


The Madonna of the Yarnwinder, c.1499 (oil on panel), Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) ( / National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh / The Buccleuch Collections. Right: An Old Woman Reading, 1655 (oil on canvas), Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606-69) / Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries, UK / The Buccleuch Collections


The Buccleuch family can trace their descent directly back to the 10th century, with 33 generations father to son. Their primary seat was for centuries Dalkeith Palace (until this was leased out), just to the south of Edinburgh, while the main London home was Montagu House, which was to become what is now the British Museum.


Left: The interior of the Pantheon, Rome, with figures, 1730 (oil on canvas), Giovanni Paolo Pannini (1691/2-1765) / Bowhill House, Scottish Borders / The Buccleuch Collections. Right: Group portrait of Charles, Earl of Dalkeith (1772-1819) and his brother, Henry, later Lord Montagu (1776-1845), 1779 (oil on canvas),  Martin Ferdinand Quadal, (1736-1808) / Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries, UK / The Buccleuch Collections


In common with many great aristocratic families, the social upheaval experienced after the first World War led to the closure of their town houses. It was then that the contents of Dalkeith and Montagu House were divided and relocated to the family's 3 main country residences: Boughton House, Northamptonshire; Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries & Galloway; and Bowhill, in the Scottish borders.


Left: Equestrian portrait of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth and Buccleuch, K.G. (1649-1685), (oil on canvas), Jan Wyck (1640-1700) (attr. to) / Boughton House, Northamptonshire, UK / The Buccleuch Collections. Right: Portrait of Elizabeth Montagu, Duchess of Buccleuch (1743-1827), half-length, in a white dress with blue bows and a lace cap with blue ribbons, in a feigned oval, c.1758 (oil on canvas), Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88) / Boughton House, Northamptonshire, UK / The Buccleuch Collections


All three of these beautiful homes are open to the public for limited periods; however a tantalising glimpse of some of the treasures they contain may be had by entering the world of the Duke of Buccleuch collection on the Bridgeman Images archive today.



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