The Buccleuch Collection at Bowhill
Bowhill’s rich history is complemented by being home to many of the jewels of the Buccleuch Collection. Created over many generations and five centuries by the Montagu Douglas and Scott forebears of the Dukes of Buccleuch and Queensberry, it is internationally recognised as one of the most important in the country.
The painting collection is outstanding ranging from an exceptional series of family portraits by Thomas Gainsborough and Sir Joshua Reynolds including the latter’s iconic Lady Caroline Scott as ‘Winter’, to fine landscapes by Claude and Ruysdael, including a set of Italian views by Guardi and Pannini and an exceptional Canaletto of London.
A small sampling of the huge collection of Portrait Miniatures is on display including works by Hans Holbein, Nicholas Hilliard and Samuel Cooper, including the latter’s famous unfinished portrait of Oliver Cromwell. Portraits of family dogs and children however have just as much of a place in what was always intended as home for comfortable 19th century living. Indeed the atmosphere is enhanced by this blend of grandeur and cosines, great 17th century German Baroque writing desks nestling beside everyday sofas and chairs. A massive candelabra in silver by Robert Garrad tells the origin of the family title, whilst a room devoted to the family’s kinsman, the great writer Sir Walter Scott tells of their close ties with his phenomenal rise to fame and their deep friendship.
From Left: (1) Sir Joshua Reynolds, PRA ‘Winter’: Portrait of Caroline Scott, later Marchioness of Queensberry (1774- 1854). (2) Samuel Cooper Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England (1599-1658), circa 1653. (3) Library.