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National Trust, Upton House

Photo credit: National Trust Images/Rupert Truman

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Upton House, originally built in 1695, became the home of Walter Samuel (1882–1948), 2nd Viscount Bearsted, the only son of Sir Marcus Samuel (1853–1927), 1st Viscount Bearsted, founder of the Shell Transport & Trading Co. Ltd, in 1927. It was remodelled to include a top-lit Picture Gallery and bequeathed by him to the National Trust along with his magnificent art collection, some of which was inherited from his father, notably Sir Edward Burne-Jones’s ‘Love Among the Ruins’, placed suitably at Wightwick Manor (National Trust). As well as a collector, civic benefactor, and City magnate, he was a Trustee (1936–1943) and Chairman of the National Gallery (1942–1943), and Chairman of the Tate Gallery (1946–1948) and the Whitechapel Art Gallery (1944–1948), where his collection was exhibited in 1955. His taste veered towards a more intimate type of painting from Stubbs’s 'The Haymakers’, ‘The Reapers’, and ‘The Labourers', Hogarth’s 'The Four Times of Day: Morning’ and 'The Four Times of Day: Night', and Metsu’s ‘Le corset bleu’, to the exquisite little 'El espolio' by El Greco and the deeply moving grisaille of 'The Dormition of the Virgin' by Pieter Bruegel the elder, which once belonged to Rubens.

near Banbury, Warwickshire OX15 6HT England

01295 670266

Before making a visit, check opening hours with the venue