Art Collection

Wycombe Museum’s art collection has a strong local emphasis. The artist, the scene, or person depicted in the works have local connections. Our collection includes various mediums – prints, paintings, bronze and wooden sculpture, oils, and watercolours. The art collection dates from the 17th century to the present day.

A proportion of our art collection can be seen on display in the Museum, but we also have much more that we simply don’t have the wall space to show.

Many of the Museum’s oil paintings are available to view online, courtesy of ArtUK.  

Highlights of the Art Collection

The Raising of Lazarus, by Joachim Wteweal (1566 – 1638)

The Raising of Lazarus, by Joachim Wteweal (1566 – 1638)

Oil, about 1610 This large oil painting shows the biblical figure Lazarus, who had been dead for four days before being brought back to life by Jesus. Joachim Wtewael was a Dutch painter and merchant, whose work focused on religious and mythological subjects.The Raising of Lazarus is currently on loan to The National Gallery, who kindly restored it to use in their displays. You can visit The Raising of Lazarus in Room 24 of The National Gallery, and you can watch a video about their restoration of the painting below. Museum number HIWLH : 1991.229 ...
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William, Earl of Shelburne by Sir Joshua Reynolds

William, Earl of Shelburne by Sir Joshua Reynolds

Oil, 1786 This is William Fitzmaurice Petty, Earl of Shelburne (1731-1805). He was elected the Member of Parliament for Wycombe in 1760. Shelburne became Foreign Secretary in 1782. He was Prime Minister briefly between 1782-83, during the final months of the American War of Independence. He negotiated the peace treaty with America, leading to the end of the war. The Petty family lived at Wycombe Abbey, High Wycombe, then called Loakes Manor, now a girls’ boarding school. The family also built High Wycombe’s Guildhall. Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723 – 1792) was Britain’s most popular portrait painter in the 1700s. He ...
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Moses Tryon by Sir Peter Lely

Moses Tryon by Sir Peter Lely

Oil, about 1646 This portrait shows Sir Moses Tryon. His family moved from the Netherlands to London in around 1580 to escape religious persecution. The painting was passed down through Tryon’s family, and was donated by his descendants to the Museum when it was founded in 1932. Peter Lely (1618 – 1680) was one of England’s most fashionable portrait artists during the mid-1600s. He painted King Charles I, and Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell succeeded Charles I after Parliament overthrew the Crown in 1649. He was also principal painter to King Charles II once the monarchy was restored in 1660 ...
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The High Street, West Wycombe, looking towards the Pedestal and Branch Wood at Downley, by Walter Stamps

The High Street, West Wycombe, looking towards the Pedestal and Branch Wood at Downley, by Walter Stamps

Oil, date unknown The village of West Wycombe has changed very little in the past few centuries. The High Street contains buildings dating from the 1400s, such as the timber-framed Church Loft. The village was owned by the Dashwood family of West Wycombe House until 1929, when it was then bought by the Royal Society of Arts, who repaired many of the houses. West Wycombe village has been owned by the National Trust since 1934. Walter Stamps (1876 – 1964) was the Head of the Wycombe School of Art from 1911. His students included furniture designers Robin Day and also ...
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Portrait of Joseph Pettifer by Joseph Highmore

Portrait of Joseph Pettifer by Joseph Highmore

Oil, around 1745  Joseph Pettifer was last in the line of several Pettifers who all became Mayor of High Wycombe. Joseph died at just 19 years of age, before he could become mayor himself. During conservation in 1990, it was discovered the varnish used by the artist had discoloured over time, and that Pettifer’s green coat was originally blue. Joseph Highmore (1692 – 1780) trained as a legal practitioner at the request of his family, but abandoned the trade at age 17 to become a professional artist. He was a portrait and historical painter, illustrator and writer, and is best ...
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Pann Mill, by Lorna Cassidy

Pann Mill, by Lorna Cassidy

Print, date unknown Lorna Cassidy (1933 - present) is a Wycombe-based artist who has been making prints of Wycombe District for more than 50 years. She has an interest in local history and in recording historic buildings, such as chair factories and mills. Often she chooses to record a view that will soon vanish. She has also recorded gradual changes to the town, such as the development of the High Street. There has been a Pann Mill at the mill’s current location from at least 1086, probably earlier. It is one of 37 water mills on, or near, the River ...
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Isabella and the Pot of Basil by G Grenville Manton

Isabella and the Pot of Basil by G Grenville Manton

Oil, 1919 This seemingly serene painting in the Pre - Raphaelite style shows the scene of what is actually a very morbid story. The story, told in the poem by John Keats, goes that Isabella was in love with a servant, Lorenzo. Isabella's brothers disapproved of her choice of lover, and lured Lorenzo into the woods to kill him. Learning of Lorenzo’s death, Isabella is beside herself with grief – she finds his body and buries her murdered lover’s head in a pot of basil, which she waters with her tears until she dies of a broken heart. George Grenville ...
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