About the oil paintings collection:
We have a relatively modest collection of around 100 oil and acrylic paintings which comprise landscapes, portraits and still lifes. The first oil painting entered the collection in 1912 and the most significant group remains the Ernest Cook bequest in 1955 of the magnificent oil paintings by Balthasar Nebot of 1738 showing Sir Thomas Lee’s gardens at Hartwell House.
Many of the oil paintings provide a topographical view of the County. Paintings such as A View of the Garden and Main Parterre of Winchendon House by Peter Tillemans depict the great country houses, while characteristic Bucks landscapes are represented in Thomas Creswick’s Burnham Beeches and Medmenham Abbey and Ferry on the Thames by Alfred de Breanski.
The collection also contains some anomalies; a small group of oil paintings by European artists bequeathed to the Museum in the 1950s, and the splendid panel paintings which formed part of the 17th century decorative scheme of Denham Court in south Bucks.
Grant making bodies, including the Art Fund, the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Patrons of Discover Bucks Museum, have been essential in helping us to enhance our collection by acquiring new paintings. These include The Jury, painted in 1861 by John Morgan, a well-known Victorian genre artist who for some time lived in Aylesbury.
The Jury by John Morgan, oil on canvas, 1861
This fascinating group portrait depicts twelve townsmen from Victorian Aylesbury. It was painted by the Victorian genre painter, John Morgan, in 1861 at the Assizes held at County Hall, Market Square, Aylesbury. The twelve sitters are identified by name and occupation on a plaque and have been traced through the census, newspapers and trade directories of the time.
Top row, L-R: Joseph Ivatts, Thomas Horwood, William Ezra Eagles, Charles Isaac Clark, Walter Batley Rudland, Richard Loosely
Bottom row, L-R: Thomas Smith, Philip Payne, Thomas Wootton, Joseph Howard, James Hobday, John Dukes
Morgan and his family lived in Aylesbury for a few years in the 1860s where he painted at least three major works based in the town.
Views of the gardens at Hartwell House by Balthasar Nebot in 1738
The Allees and Arcades behind Hartwell House by Balthasar Nebot, oil on canvas, 1738
This unique series of eight paintings was commissioned by Sir Thomas Lee in 1738 to celebrate his newly created landscape garden at Hartwell, near Aylesbury.
These paintings are usually on display in the Georgian Room at the museum. Please contact the museum before making a special journey to see these paintings as the Georgian Room is occasionally needed for other exhibitions and events.
Burnham Beeches by Thomas Creswick, oil on canvas, mid 19th century
This exciting project digitised oil paintings and sculpture in public ownership within the UK. Explore our collection and many more.