Stourhead was given to the National Trust by Sir Henry Hoare (1865–1947), 6th Bt and his wife Alda, in 1946. They had brought a number of pictures from their seat at Wavendon, Buckinghamshire, which replaced those sold in 1883. They also favoured the artist and novelist St George Hare who painted the curious pictures ''Miserere, Domine!' (Christians in Prison)' and ''The Gilded Cage', a Female Captive'. But the two great collectors were Henry Hoare II (1705–1785), known as ‘The Magnificent’, and his grandson, Sir Richard Colt Hoare (1758–1738), 2nd Bt. Henry created a sky-lit picture gallery and bought paintings by Italian artists, notably, Carlo Maratti’s 'Marchese Niccolò Maria Pallavicini Guided to the Temple of Virtù by Apollo, with a Self Portrait of the Artist', but also Anton Raphael Mengs’s 'Octavius Caesar (Later the Emperor Augustus) and Cleopatra', 'The Choice of Hercules' by Nicolas Poussin and the Louis Jean François Lagrenées, originally commissioned by the disgraced duc de Choisel. Colt Hoare, who expanded by adding a semi-detached picture gallery, largely commissioned British artists, although he did acquire Cigoli’s 'The Adoration of the Magi' from a destroyed church in Florence.
Stourton, Warminster, Wiltshire BA12 6QD England
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