We wish to stress that the paintings at Clare College are not in public ownership. In accordance with the charitable aims of the College, which is a private institution, we are including our paintings on this website for the principal benefit of wider academic awareness.
Established by Richard de Badew in 1326 as University Hall, Clare is the second oldest college in the university. A generous endowment from Lady Elizabeth de Clare, a granddaughter of King Edward I, ensured its survival and she has since been considered its foundress. At the end of nineteenth century the College received several portraits of Clare alumni (which had been copied from originals) including those of Charles Townshend, Charles Cornwallis and probably Hugh Latimer. There had been a dearth of artwork until then but there are exceptions – the magnificent portraits of the Earl of Exeter and the Duke of Newcastle were in College by 1790. The striking early seventeenth-century portrait of an unknown nobleman, often referred to as ‘Man with a Ruff’, is a later acquisition. The image of Sir Robert Hepple by Tom Watson is the most recent in a long line of portraits of Masters commissioned by the College, joining those of Sir Eric Ashby by Bryan Organ and Robin Matthews by Maggi Hambling.
The paintings are hung throughout the College, mainly in the private areas, with only those in the Hall being on public view. Access to paintings other than those in the Hall is normally reserved to those involved in academic research, who should apply to: The Forbes Mellon Librarian, Clare College, Cambridge, CB3 9AJ.
Not all locations are open to the public. Please contact the gallery or collection for more information.