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Fine & Decorative Art

The extensive and wide ranging Fine & Decorative Art collection at Eton College includes paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, furniture, stained glass and textiles. A large proportion of the collection was generously given or bequeathed to the college by former pupils and their families.  

Portraits

There are several hundred oil portraits, dating from the 16th century to the present day. In addition to portraits of royals or figures associated with the college, the 'leaving portraits' depict young Etonians, many of whom became prominent public figures in later life. Earlier leaving portraits are painted by some of the most significant portraitists of the 18th and 19th centuries, including Sir Joshua Reynolds, Benjamin West and Sir Thomas Lawrence, while there are 20th-century examples are by Derek Hill, Paul Brason and Andrew Festing. 

Other paintings

Other notable paintings in the collection include an early 17th-century panoramic View of Venice by Italian painter and printmaker Odoardo Fialetti, presented by Sir Henry Wotton, and George Frederic Watts’ Sir Galahad, presented by the artist in 1897.

Watercolours

The buildings of Eton have long been a popular subject for watercolourists and so it is fitting that the collection includes some 1500 drawings and watercolours depicting a wide variety of subjects by some of the best-known artists in the medium, including Gainsborough, Thomas Girtin, J. M. W. Turner and Samuel Palmer. 

Prints

There are over 700 prints, chiefly consisting of portraits engraved after British paintings in oil, but also including topographical prints. Although mainly formed as a result of two major bequests (Anthony Morris Storer in 1799 and George Warren Swire in 1950), the print collection continues to be augmented.

Modern and contemporary art 

Art works include examples by Anthony Frost, Sean Scully, Howard Hodgkin and Anthony Gormley, as well as work by significant contemporary ceramicists and former Drawing Masters.

Further highlights

Further highlights of the Fine & Decorative Art Collection include tapestries designed by Edward Burne-Jones, stained glass by John Piper and sculpture by Francis Bird and John Bacon.

Research and Enquiries

The fine and decorative art collections may be explored in our online catalogue.

For all enquiries, please contact the Keeper of Fine & Decorative Art by email, by phone on 01753 370 598 or by post at Eton College, Windsor SL4 6DW.