World class art collection waiting to be discovered in Warwickshire - The Leamington Observer

World class art collection waiting to be discovered in Warwickshire

A WORLD-CLASS art collection is waiting to be discovered nestled in the South Warwickshire countryside.

While the National Trust cares for thousands of paintings, only 100 of them were selected to feature in the new book 100 Paintings from the Collections of the National Trust.

And ten of the chosen works can be found on the walls of the Picture Gallery at Upton House and Gardens near Kineton.

Upton’s treasured art collection was assembled by Lord Bearsted in the early part of the 20th century.

He was one of the most knowledgeable and passionate art collectors of his time and he amassed a collection to rival the best galleries including pieces by El Greco, Bosch and Breugel.

He even re-designed his country house so they could be displayed and admired to their full advantage. On his death, he left Upton and its collection to the National Trust so these exceptional paintings could be enjoyed by everyone.

The ten pieces can be seen in Upton’s Picture Gallery whenever the house is open, where new interpretation gives a fresh insight into the paintings.

Upton’s newly appointed property curator, Michelle Leake, has been working alongside John Chu, senior national curator and co-author of 100 Paintings, to highlight the collection’s importance.

Michelle said: ‘I’ve been working with the Upton collection for more than 15 years, but there is always something new and intriguing to uncover and share. Whether it be a visible detail or something under the surface of a painting revealed during conservation work, the discoveries go on.”

John Chu added: “My heart leaps a little when I visit the painting collection at Upton. Lord Bearsted collected some truly breath-taking works of art. I think visitors will love the highlights we’ve selected for them and I’m really looking forward to finding out what their own favourites are.”

Find out more online and on social media, including a series of short films where John Chu and Michelle Leake talk about the ten pieces from 100 Paintings, at and @UptonHouseNT on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Visit for full details and opening times.

100 Paintings from the Collections of the National Trust can be bought from the shop at Upton House and gardens or online at



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