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Publication

Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace

65 of the greatest paintings from the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace

Desmond Shawe-Taylor and Isabella Manning

 160 pages

Showcases 65 of the greatest works of art in the Royal Collection

Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace jacket image

Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace ©

Hardback, 254 × 203 mm, 90 colour illustrations
ISBN 978 1 909741 73 7

In this beautiful art book, Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures, Desmond Shawe-Taylor, and Assistant Curator, Isabella Manning, examine 65 of the most celebrated paintings from the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace.

The book opens with a history of the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace, by Assistant Curator Isabella Manning.

This is followed by an essay by the Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures, Desmond Shawe-Taylor, on how to look at Old Master Paintings: in his words ‘the key question here is not what makes a good painting; but what is there to enjoy in a painting?’. This gives the reader the tools to consider the works in the book, considering the various facets and merits of composition, drawing, colour, expression, accuracy and design.

The catalogue entries which follow encourage readers to look at the works in a new way, considering how Claude paints a sky, for example, how Rubens models the landscape through his use of colour, or how Titian uses contrast to add gravitas to a portrait. 

With masterpieces by artists including Vermeer, Rembrandt, van Dyck, Rubens, Titian and Canaletto, this publication offers new insights into these world-famous works of art.

Desmond Shawe-Taylor is Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures and has written many publications for the Royal Collection Trust, including Masters of the Everyday (2015), The First Georgians (2014), Dutch Landscapes (2010) and The Conversation Piece (2009).

Isabella Manning is Assistant Curator of Paintings, Royal Collection Trust.

Related exhibition
Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace

Some of the most important paintings in the Royal Collection from the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace

Highlights from the publication

Johannes Vermeer (Delft 1632-Delft 1675)

Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman

Pieter de Hooch (Rotterdam 1629-Amsterdam 1684)

Cardplayers in a sunlit Room

Gerrit Dou (Leiden 1613-Leiden 1675)

A Girl chopping Onions

Rembrandt van Rijn (Leiden 1606-Amsterdam 1669)

Self-Portrait in a Flat Cap

Rembrandt van Rijn (Leiden 1606-Amsterdam 1669)

Agatha Bas (1611-1658)

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577 - Antwerp 1640)

Portrait of a Woman

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577 - Antwerp 1640)

Self-Portrait

Canaletto (Venice 1697-Venice 1768)

The Bacino di San Marco on Ascension Day

Andrea del Sarto (Florence 1486-Florence 1530)

Portrait of a Woman in Yellow