Explore the latest exhibit at Strawberry Hill House this spring / summer with our new exhibition:

Look closely-can you spot the butterfly? 

Two masterpieces by Jan van Huysum
18 May 2024 – 8 September 2024

Evocatively demonstrating Jan van Huysum’s (1682-1749) gift for creating sophisticated still life compositions depicting flowers and fruits, Strawberry Hill House is delighted to present the Dutch 18th-century master’s Flowers in a Vase with Crown Imperial and Apple Blossom at the Top and a Statue of Flora (1731-2) and Fruit and Flowers in front of a Garden Vase with an Opium Poppy and a Row of Cypresses (1731-2) on loan from a private collection and rarely seen in public.

Art historian Andrew Graham Dixon has described the pair as “the two most brilliant and perfectly preserved paintings by the painter”, and they have remained together ever since leaving van Huysum’s studio. It is believed that they were conceived as pendants from the outset, one showing mostly fruits, the other flowers. The pictures are in exceptional preservation and vividly showcase van Huysum’s desired freshness of colour and transparency. They were originally owned by the painter Jeanne Etienne Liotard (1702-1789).

Van Huysum’s work was greatly appreciated during his lifetime and for half a century afterwards his pictures sold for unprecedented sums and were only collected by the richest collectors in Europe, among which was Horace’s father, Sir Robert Walpole (1676-1745). Although Horace Walpole did not keep any Jan van Huysums at Strawberry Hill himself – due to their rarity, expense, and difficulty in procurement – he did possess a painting by Jacob van Huysum, van Huysum’s brother, who resided at Sir Robert Walpole’s house in Chelsea, and numerous works by Jean Baptiste Monnoyer (1636-1699), a French-Flemish painter who relocated to Britain in the late 17th century, as well as by his son Antoine Monnoyer, (1670-1747) whose compositions were similar to van Huysum’s but less soft and finished.

Liotard was forced to sell his pair of van Huysums and afterwards they were bought by the Landgraf Friedrich II of Hesse-Cassel (1720-1785), only to be appropriated by Napoleon during the wars before remerging in England, in private collections. Strawberry Hill House’s in-focus exhibition will provide visitors with an immersive experience, by inviting them to delve into the intricate details, pictorial brilliance, and celebrate Walpole’s profound fascination with flowers and his own garden at the villa, through van Huysum’s beautiful paintings.

Tickets included in general admission from 18 May to 8 September.


Advance booking recommended

Jan Van Huysum Fruit

Jan van Huysum, Columns Behind and Fruits, including Grapes, Peaches, and a Pineapple, with Flowers and a Poppy in a Sculpted Vase, a Landscape Behind, 1731-1732, Private Collection

Jan Van Huysum Flowers

Jan van Huysum, A Vase of Flowers, including Roses, Tulips, and a Crown Imperial, with a Bird’s Nest on a Marble Ledge, a Statue of Flora, and columns behind, 1731-1732, Private Collection

Talks, Tours and Workshops

In the Picture: Van Huysum and some other friends, with Andrew Graham-Dixon

Friday 17 May 2024, Talk starts at 7pm.

Join us for a glass of prosecco and a fascinating evening with Andrew Graham-Dixon. In his wide-ranging talk, Andrew plays the role both of biographer and detective to discuss the principles and practice of art appreciation. He will explore some of his favourite paintings from many different corners of the history of art, telling the fascinating stories that lie behind them and revealing their often-hidden meanings.

Andrew Graham-Dixon is one of the leading art critics and presenters of arts television in the English-speaking world.

Standard Adult Ticket: £20
Members & Patrons and Students: £18


Flower and Photography workshop in the style of Jan van Huysum

18 May 2024, 10am-4pm

Learn how to channel the aesthetic of the Dutch Masters by creating and then photographing your own floral design.

After a private view of the two Jan van Huysum paintings, Janne Ford and Leigh Chappell, experts in the fields of floral photography and design, will talk you through the flowers and techniques used to create a Dutch Master-inspired floral arrangement. Together they will guide you through creating your own floral design, going on to explore how you can create the aesthetic of a Dutch Master through the art of floral photography.

Tickets: £180 (includes entry to the house, workshops, all materials and a buffet lunch)



Talk & Garden Tour: Walpole, van Huysum and the Art of the Garden

Sunday 26 May, 10:30am-12:00pm
Wednesday 3 July, 10:30am-12:00pm

Join Strawberry Hill’s honorary librarian and tour guide, Carole Tucker, on this unique and fascinating garden tour. Take time to immerse yourself in the crystalline light, colour and detail of van Huysum’s paintings before a tour of the gardens. The tour will explore Walpole’s suggestion that a landscape garden contained and combined many art forms: architecture, sculpture, poetry and painting.


Online Botanical Illustration Workshop, Susannah Pal and Cas Bradbeer

Wednesday 5 June 2024, 7:00pm-9:00pm

Starting with a leisurely online tour of the Jan van Huysum exhibition, we will then begin channelling these gorgeous floral paintings through botanical illustration. Artist and London Drawing tutor Susannah Pal will present a drawing demonstration, guiding your experimentation with the themes and techniques behind van Huysum’s work.

All you will need is some foliage, flowers, or fruit to draw and whatever materials you have to hand.

Ticket: £15
Concession: £10


A Talk on the development of the Dutch flower painting genre, 1600-1750, by Tanja Moderscheim

Friday 12 July 2024, 10am-12:00pm

Dutch fine artist, Tanja Moderscheim presents a fascinating art history lecture about the development of the flower painting as a genre in the Netherlands, culminating in Jan van Huysum’s work in the 1700s. The lecture will also discuss Tulip Mania and the painter’s palette.

Enjoy a private view of the two Jan van Huysum paintings before and after the talk. The talk starts at 10.30am, entry to view the paintings will be from 10am.

Standard Adult Ticket: £10
Members & Patrons and Students: £8


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Strawberry Hill House is internationally famous as Britain’s finest example of Georgian Gothic Revival architecture.