John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, was one of history's most enthusiastic art collectors. As tutor to Prince George, Bute became indispensable to the royal household. Soon after his accession to the throne, the King made Bute Prime Minister—a career that was cut short after the Peace of Paris in 1763. Forced out of London by an angry mob, Bute retired to an estate at Luton, where he spent the rest of his years in private study and amassing a collection of 500 paintings, including major works by Venetian painters such as Tintoretto, Bordone, and Veronese. Bute had a special interest in Dutch and Flemish pictures, building the greatest collection of its kind in Britain. This book features over thirty masterpieces, mainly genre paintings and landscapes, and including jewel-like landscapes by Brueghel and Savery. The collection is housed at the Bute family's Scottish seat, Mount Stuart, on the Isle of Bute. Essays by leading scholars delve into the history of Bute's collection, focusing on his relationship with King George III, and his wideranging passions, which resulted in rooms filled floor to ceiling with works of art.
CAITLIN BLACKWELL is the inaugural Bute Fellow at Mount Stuart, which is located on the Isle of Bute off the coast of Scotland.
PETER BLACK is Curator at the Hunterian, University of Glasgow and has published widely on Dutch and Flemish art.
OLIVER COX is Heritage Engagement Fellow at the University of Oxford.