The Egerton family’s collection of paintings is diverse, with works from the 14th through to the 20th centuries. Amongst them are works by Canaletto, Van Dyck, Chardin and Guercino. With the majority of important works on display in the Mansion’s State Rooms, visitors can see at first hand the development of the collecting tastes of the Egerton family.
'The Molo, Looking West with the Dogana and S. Maria della Salute, Venice' by Canaletto (1697-1768)
Commissioned from the artist by Joseph Smith for Samuel Egerton’s uncle, Samuel Hill in 1730, this and the companion painting, 'The Doges Palace and Riva Degli Schiavoni, Looking East, Venice', can be seen in the Drawing Room.
A surviving letter from Joseph Smith to Samuel Hill dated 1730, refers to the paintings: “At last I’ve got Canaletto under articles to finish your 2 pieces within a twelve month; he’s so much follow’d and all are so ready to pay him his own price for his work (and which he values himself as much as anybody) that he would be thought in this to have much obliged me….a rupture with such as are excellent in their profession resolves ‘em either not to work for you at all, or which is worse, one gets from them only slight and labour’d productions..”
'The Cheshire Hunt, 1839' by
Dominating the Entrance Hall, this vast painting depicts a meeting of the Cheshire Hunt in the countryside between Tarporley Church and Beeston Castle.
Three generations of Egertons are depicted: Wilbraham Egerton 1781-1856, his son William Tatton Egerton, later 1st Baron, 1806-1883, and his grandson Wilbraham Egerton, later 2nd Baron and Earl Egerton 1832-1909.
Calvert reputedly took sketches of the huntsmen at their local hostelry and meeting place, the Swan Inn at Tarporley, in preparation for the finished work. One such preparatory sketch, a painting of William Tatton Egerton, can be seen in the Egerton Exhibition Room
'The Excavation of the Manchester Ship Canal: Eastham Cutting, 1891'. by Benjamin Williams Leader, R.A., (1831 -1923)
Wilbraham, Earl Egerton of Tatton, was Chairman of the Board of the Manchester Ship Canal Company from 1887 – 1894. Leader’s elder brother, Sir Edward Leader Williams was its designer and chief engineer.
We are fortunate at Tatton Park that Wilbraham Egerton was able to acquire not only the substantial finished version of this painting, but also the initial working sketch and another version of the same painting. All three can be seen in the Egerton Exhibition Room.