The National Trust of Scotland has a collection of seventeenth and eighteenth-century Dutch and Flemish furniture, decorative arts, paintings and prints in a wide variety of properties, in locations ranging from the borders to the highlands.
One of the properties with the largest collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings is Hill of Tarvit. This mansion house, established in 1906, displays a fine collection of ‘kolf’ paintings by Hendrick Avercamp alongside large works in the manner of Jan Weenix and Hondecoeter. Ostentatious still life paintings in the manner of Abraham van Beijeren, Willem Kalf and De Heem further adorn the walls. The collection also holds a version of Pieter Bruegel the Younger’s The Bird Trap, copied after an original by his father. The paintings were all collected in the early twentieth century by an industrialist following in the wake of William Burrell.
Other properties of the National Trust of Scotland with holdings of Dutch and Flemish art
Brodick Castle has a collection of Flemish ivory miniatures, wooden painted figures, silver candlesticks and paintings collected by William Beckford. Strong Scottish trading ties with the Netherlands in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries have influenced interior painted decoration, which can still be seen at Crathes Castle, Culross Palace and Gladstone’s Land.
At Crathes Castle, a gallery displays skating scenes and landscapes by Klaes Molenaer, Aert van der Neer and Karel Dujardin, as well as a still life by Pieter Claesz. Fyvie Castle – furnished in the 19th century after being purchased by an American with Scottish ancestry – has marine paintings by Hendrik van Minderhout and Jacob de Gruyter. While Haddo House has a selection of portraits attributed to a range of artists – including Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer and Willem Wissing. And, Brodie Castle has seventeenth-century works by Abraham Bloemaert, Jacob Gerritsz. Cuyp, and Gerardus Hendriks, as well as an eighteenth century watercolor by Jacob van Kouwenhoven. Uniquely, Falkland Palace has a nineteenth-century copy of James VI (of Scotland) by the Dutch artist C Jennssen, presumably ordered by the third Marquess of Bute from an original by Paul van Somer. Many art works in property collections are unattributed or noted as being ‘Dutch’ or Flemish’ school, including landscapes at House of the Binns, built in the sixteenth century by the Dalyell family.
Dr. Antonia Laurence Allen, Regional Curator, Edinburgh and East (August 2021)