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Fine and decorative art

Our collection contains several hundred oil portraits which span from the 16th century to the present day. 

In addition to royal and other portraits from the time of Henry VI onwards, there are 'leaving portraits' of young Etonians, many of whom later became famous. These were painted by some of the leading portraitists of the 18th and 19th centuries, including Thomas Hudson, Joshua Reynolds, George Romney, Benjamin West, and Thomas Lawrence. This tradition has been revived recently, and there is now a growing collection of portraits commissioned from leading portraitists such as Derek Hill, Paul Brason, Peter Kuhfeld, and Andrew Festing. 

Amongst other notable oil paintings in the collection are an early 17th-century panoramic View of Venice by Odoardo Fialetti, and George Frederick Watts’ Sir Galahad presented to Eton by the artist in 1897.

Our collection of English watercolours includes work by some of the best-known watercolourists of the 18th and 19th centuries, such as Gainsborough, J.S. Cotman, Thomas Girtin, J.M.W. Turner, Thomas Rowlandson and Samuel Palmer. 

There is also an extensive collection of mezzotint portraits and topographical prints.

The substantial 18th-century collection of drawings by Richard Topham survives in its original albums.

We also have a small but vibrant collection of modern art including work by Sean Scully and Howard Hodgkin, and works by important contemporary ceramicists. 

Much of the collection was given or bequeathed to Eton by former pupils and their families.  

Access to the collection is by appointment with Philippa Martin, Keeper of Fine and Decorative Art, Eton College, Windsor SL4 6DW, tel: 01753 370 598. Click here to email.