I have just been looking at the six volumes on the oil paintings owned by the National Trust which have been published by the Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF).
The Public Catalogue Foundation is an extraordinary venture, in some ways reminiscent of Pevsner’s Buildings of England series, which has succeeded in digitising the UK’s publicly owned oil paintings.
The database can be accessed digitally via the Your Paintings site, but the PCF is also publishing a series of hardback catalogues, six of which cover the National Trust’s collections.
It is wonderful to see the collections of individual historic houses spread out across the pages, in all their variety, splendour and incongruity. Some are undoubted masterpieces by famous artists while others, though more humble, speak eloquently of social attitudes, changing fashions and family preoccupations.
The pictures shown here are from the collection of the Carew and Pole families which have been associated with Antony, in Cornwall, since the early fifteenth century.