The Royal Fine Art Collection

The Royal Art Collection is one of the largest and most important collections in the world. It’s also one of the biggest privately owned art collections in the world and it’s worth a staggering amount of money. Approx £10 billion market value – with no doubt extra value taking into account it belongs to the Queen. (Technically it is held in trust by the Queen as a sovereign and not owned by her a private individual)

 Comprised of over one million objects, the impressive collection is housed across 15 UK royal residences, both occupied and historic. These include Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Hampton Court, the Tower of London, Osborne House and the Royal Pavilion, Brighton. 


(The Tribuna of the Uffizi 1772-77 JOHAN JOSEPH ZOFFANY (FRANKFURT 1733-LONDON 1810)

There are over 500,000 prints, 30,000 watercolours and drawings, 7,000 paintings, numerous photographs, tapestries, furniture, ceramics, cars, textiles, antique lace, carriages, jewellery, clocks, musical instruments, plants, manuscripts, books, sculptures, and of course, the illustrious Crown Jewels. The fine art includes 6  Rembrandts, over 600 Leonardo Da Vinci drawings and 13 Rubens paintings. And, perhaps surprisingly, recently added content by Andy Warhol and Sir Anish Kapoor. 


(Portrait of a Lady, SIR PETER LELY 1658-1660, Displayed in the White Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace)


(George III, SIR WILLIAM BEECHEY 1799-1800, Displayed at the top of the Grand Staircase, Buckingham Palace)

The history of the collection dates back to post King Henry VIII. And comprises a unique insight into the personal tastes of the kings and queens over the past 500 years. 

Though Queen Elizabeth II herself has added to the collection, the largest contributions to the Royal Collection came from the tastes and interests of Frederick, Prince of Wales; George III; George IV; Queen Victoria; Prince Albert; and Queen Mary.


(The Prince of Wales’s Phaeton Signed and dated 1793, GEORGE STUBBS 1724-1806)


(A Flemish Fair Signed and dated 1600,JAN BRUEGHEL THE ELDER, BRUSSELS 1568-ANTWERP 1625)

 

This below is said to be one of the Queens favourite paintings, thought she is also  fond of anything that combines her love of horses and Fine art, such as work by Stubbs.


(The Shipbuilder and his Wife”: Jan Rijcksen (1560/2-1637) and his Wife, Griet Jans Signed and dated 1633, REMBRANDT VAN RIJN LEIDEN 1606-AMSTERDAM 1669)

The paintings often move around the royal households, and are changed allowing as many as possible to take a turn in the spotlight.  Many leave the collection briefly to be shown and loaned to public places such as museums and historical homes.