Blickling Hall, a great Jacobean house, traditionally thought to be Anne Boleyn’s birthplace, was re-built with a fine wooden staircase, superb plasterwork ceilings by Edward Stanyon, and the best surviving chimneypiece by Robert Lyminge, between 1619 and 1627. It has, essentially, two painting collections: that of the Hobarts and that of the Kerrs.
The Hobarts’ collection, initiated by Sir Henry Hobart (d.1626), 1st Bt, and finishing with Sir John Hobart (1723–1793), 6th Bt, are all family portraits except, notably, the set of Hayman’s monochrome canvases, copied from plates of Bellori and Pietro Santo Bartoli’s 'Admiranda Romanarum Antiquitatum Monumenta' (1693). There is also the collection of the Kerrs, Marquesses of Lothian, including William Kerr (1832–1870), 8th Marquess of Lothian and Philip (1882–1940), 11th Marquess, who not only left Blickling to the National Trust, but also left pictures brought from his other houses, including his chief Scottish seat, Newbattle Abbey. The most interesting of these is the left half of one of Canaletto’s seven-foot-wide views of London, depicting Chelsea Reach. The right-hand side – showing Chelsea Hospital and Ranelagh – is now in the National Museum of Cuba in Havana.
Blickling, Norwich, Norfolk NR11 6NF England
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