Michael Hall

Michael Hall is the author of Art, Passion & Power: The Story of the Royal Collection.

The art of the monarchy

Elizabeth II spent virtually all her life surrounded by one of the world’s greatest art collections. Even when she was a child, and the likelihood of her inheriting the throne still seemed remote, visits to her grandparents at Buckingham Palace involved looking at pictures, since George V enjoyed showing her the Victorian narrative paintings that

The great art of country houses is still getting better

Last year 114,000 people flocked to Houghton Hall in north Norfolk for a once-in-a lifetime opportunity. Part of the great collection of paintings sold by the Walpole family in 1779 to Catherine the Great of Russia was back, thanks to a generous loan from the Hermitage. It was an un-usual triumph — a blockbuster exhibition in

At home with the English

The English House by Hermann Muthesius In 1896 Hermann Muthesius, a Prussian architect and civil servant in his mid-thirties, arrived in London to work as a cultural and technical attaché at the German embassy. His mission, apparently instigated by the Kaiser, was to study the domestic architecture of the United Kingdom, a subject that was