The art collection of Holkham Hall
, has extensive contents which include the following.
Uniquely the house was designed around the art collection acquired (a few works were commissioned) by Thomas Coke 1st Earl of Leicester
during his Grand Tour
of Italy during 1712–18. To complete the scheme it was necessary to send Matthew Brettingham the younger to Rome between 1747–54 to purchase further works of art.
The design of the house was a collaborative effort between Thomas Coke, Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington
and William Kent
, with Matthew Brettingham
the elder acting as the on site architect
. The house was built between 1736–1764, with work on the interiors only completed in 1771. By 1769 all the men had died, this left Thomas's widow, Lady Margaret Tufton, Countess of Leicester, (1700–1775) to oversee the completion of the House, their only child to survive infancy, Lord Edward had died without issue in 1753.
The house is designed with a corps de logis
containing the state rooms
on the first floor piano nobile
, surrounded by four wings: to the southwest the family wing, to the north-west the guest wing, to south-east the chapel wing and to the north-east the kitchen wing. With all the intervening doors open it is possible to stand in the Long Library and look down the full length of the southern State Rooms and see the east window of the Chapel in the opposing wing the full length of the House. The family wing is a self... Read More